EdTech & the Faculty Role: Career Implications and Opportunities in an Era of Continuous Innovation

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

BRIEF ABSTRACT: This roundtable discussion explores the intersection of educational technology and faculty careers. Emphasis is placed on leveraging technology in service of career advancement. 


Catherine Honig, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Chair, MBA Program in National Louis University's College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA). She earned her doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from Bowling Green State University and has over 25 years of higher education teaching experience. She currently designs and teaches online courses in leadership and I/O psychology, and her research interests place emphasis on high-touch online instruction, student perceptions of online and blended learning, and the impact of EdTech tools on student learning and engagement in online courses. Catherine also serves as the Editor of MERLOT's Psychology Editorial Board.
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Sherri Restauri, Ph.D., Director of the Coastal Office of Online Learning, Coastal Carolina University Sherri currently serves as the Director of the Coastal Office of Online Learning at Coastal Carolina University. She is an Associated Faculty with the Psychology Department at CCU, and specializes in teaching child, adolescent, and adult development classes. Sherri has served in academia within the field of online learning for over 20 years in the role of instructional designer, LMS administrator, faculty member,, and administrator. In addition to her work with Coastal, Sherri also serves the MERLOT organization as the Editor of the Professional Coaching board, as well as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for the Psychology MERLOT board. Her research focuses on methods for improving student success in the academic environment, to include all modalities of learning (online, face-to-face, hybrid, flipped, etc.). She has worked as a consultant for a number of organizations to support the development of digital learning initiatives.
Julie Evey, Ph.D., taught full time at the University of Southern Indiana for 17 years in the Department of Psychology. During that time she held multiple administrative roles including Chair of Psychology and Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts. She began teaching online in 2006 and has been affiliated with Merlot since 2002. She continues to teach online courses for the University of Southern Indiana, but left her full time position in 2015 to pursue other interests. She earned her Ph.D. from Kent State University in Cognitive Psychology with a specialty in children's language development.

Extended Abstract

ISSUE/OPPORTUNITY: Today’s academic environment calls for faculty—both full-time and adjunct—to develop significant expertise in educational technology (EdTech). Now more than ever, pedagogical effectiveness in a faculty role requires a host of contemporary EdTech skills such as facility with multiple learning management systems and fluency with social media. Knowledge of online and blended course design frameworks as well as open educational resources (OER) also figure prominently in contemporary course design and modern pedagogical approaches.  Moreover, distance education research reports--such as the Babson Survey Research Group’s 2015 Online Report Card—confirm that a majority of academic leaders (63%) view online learning as “critical” (p. 5) to university-level strategy.  Taken together, this information makes clear that EdTech has emerged as an integral component of the faculty role and faculty career development, and it raises important questions about how faculty members can leverage educational technology in service of role excellence and career development.

The proposed roundtable discussion provides a space for conference participants to collaboratively explore and share the intersection of educational technology and faculty careers. Specific focus will be placed on how educational technology can inform career expansion and career advancement for faculty.

TARGET AUDIENCE: The target audience includes full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, university administrators, and professionals seeking a faculty role. Instructional designers and academic technologists, in particular, are encouraged to attend this session.

DISCUSSION PROTOCOL: The following discussion protocol illustrates the main points that will be covered. The discussion will be facilitated by a selected panel of representatives within the fields of teaching and online learning and pedagogy.  The Forum is designed for high-interaction; questions, comments, and recommendations from the attendees will be sought throughout and also at the conclusion of the Forum.

Innovative application of educational technology will be underscored. Overall, the discussion protocol aims to reveal emerging faculty career progression trends as impacted by educational technology. 

  • In your experience, how does educational technology (and innovative uses of educational technology, in particular) figure into career attainment and career progression for faculty members seeking tenure or promotion? Are there initiatives, projects, committees, or special assignments that faculty should seek? What initiatives get noticed?
  • What professional development opportunities should faculty should pursue? How might current work force trends inform professional development?
  • How does educational technology figure into the picture for adjunct faculty members seeking part-time assignments?
  • How can innovative uses of educational technology figure into career attainment or career advancement for those seeking full-time academic careers in educational technology?
  • Social media/networking: What is the best way for faculty to present/position, underscore and "advertise" their EdTech knowledge and experience?
  • What is the single-most important piece of advice or guidance for faculty to strategically employ EdTech for career progression and advancement?

TAKEAWAYS:  The discussion protocol is designed to lead to a specific set of takeaways that include:

  • Illustrations of innovative technology use in the faculty role and how they relate to the faculty career
  • Professional development approaches that lead to career advancement and growth (e.g., committee assignments, projects, organizational memberships and positions)
  • Self-promotion and networking approaches
  • A list of resources compiled by the Forum panelists (and made available to all participants)

Allen, E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T.  (2016, February).  Online report card - tracking online education in the United States. Retrieved from:        http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/online-report-card-tracking-online-education-united-states-2015/