Staying online : a design for a sustainable community of practice for online instructors



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The increasing demand for online and hybrid courses necessitates a corresponding increase in the number of higher education faculty members who offer instruction in these alternative delivery environments. Faculty members may resist course redesign due to concerns about increased workload and technology and require extrinsic motivation in the form of financial compensation and pedagogical and technological support as well as intrinsic motivation in the form of informal peer recognition, and intellectual satisfaction. Online courses offer temporal flexibility and multiple transactional axes but may superficially appear to devalue interaction. The apparent deindividuation of computer-mediated communication may be overcome by group socialization in collaborative communities which are focused on authentic problems. This report proposes a design-based research approach to determine the impact from an online collaborative community on the number of online course offerings and whether or not a professional development workshop that models interaction for participants will have a corresponding impact on the degree of interactivity incorporated in the respective courses of those faculty members. The proposal outlines the creation of a workshop offered in a hybrid delivery mode which through iterative instructional design interventions may lead to the development of a community of passionate instructors who collaborate to solve the technical and pedagogical challenges of their respective content disciplines and thereby meet the demand for online course offerings.