Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hu, Xiaodan

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This study investigated existing training practices for online faculty and instructors in the Illinois community college system. From 2004 to 2014, higher education showed a 60% increase in online enrollment, with 1.9 million students enrolled nationally in online courses at public two-year institutions. In the state of Illinois, public two-year institutions enrolled 32.9% of all distance education courses . As online learning continues to alter the educational landscape, new issues confront instructors and students. Preparing faculty to teach online is an important component for student success in online programs but professional development for online instructors varies in different universities.

A survey with questions based on best practices in online instructor training was distributed to representatives who were responsible for online instructor training in each of the Illinois community colleges. Survey results provided baseline information about a large system that can be used to analyze and improve existing programs. Results of the study revealed that orientation and professional development programs are widely offered, yet only 50% of programs include information about pedagogy, teaching strategies, and assessment. Faculty are also being asked to design their own online courses, but course design training is not consistently offered.


83 pages




Northern Illinois University

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