Capturing Professional Growth of Online Instructors: Learning Analysts’ Reflections on Studying a Faculty Development Program

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Institutions of higher education are struggling to meet the growing demand for online courses and programs, partly because many faculty lack online-teaching experience. This case study provides an overview of a continuing faculty development program for online instructors—the eQIP (eCampus Quality Instruction Program, one institution’s multipronged approach of online faculty development)—and how this faculty development program was evaluated using surveys, analytics, and social network analysis. The case sheds light on the particular challenges in conducting an evaluation study aimed at supporting continuing improvements of a faculty development program. Using data from various sources (such as activity logs stored in learning management systems [LMS, the network platform that enables learning activities in the online environment. Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, and Canvas are the top four leading service providers of LMSs], course assignments and surveys, and asynchronous discussion threads), the researchers identified recommendations for program improvement.