Factors Affecting Faculty Participation in Online Development at a Higher Education Institution



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Faculty development continues to be a significant component of higher education institutions. The purpose of this phenomenological case study was to understand the faculty experience surrounding participation in online professional development, thereby discovering the complex structures that influence participation and impact completion of formal online offerings. The research was supported through systems theory, and the iceberg model was used to conclude the findings. Full-time instructional faculty at a tier-one university in the southern United States who registered for a university-sponsored accessibility and universal design for learning training were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews to discuss their online faculty development experiences. The findings of the study indicate that the factors that influence faculty to participate in online faculty development, such as an institutional mandate, are often the same regardless if they complete the training or not. Additionally, faculty who complete online faculty development may have similar but fewer barriers to completion than faculty who do not complete. Systematic implications for lowering barriers and increasing support for faculty in online professional development are presented, and further research recommendations are discussed.



College faculty, Higher education, Online faculty professional development, Phenomenology, Systems thinking