The Identification of Competencies for Online Teaching Success

Volume, Issue - Date: 
Volume 16, Issue 1 - January 2012
Paula Mae Bigatel, The Pennsylvania State University
Lawrence C. Ragan, The Pennsylvania State University
Shannon Kennan, The Pennsylvania State University
Janet May, The Pennsylvania State University
Brian F. Redmond, The Pennsylvania State University
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online teaching and learning, teaching competencies, distance learning, faculty development, e-learning, Community of Inquiry, learning effectiveness

This exploratory study examined teaching behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs (referred to as tasks) that reflect potential competencies for online teaching success. In this study, teaching tasks are those tasks performed during course delivery. A 7-point Likert scale survey instrument was constructed and distributed to experienced online faculty and staff asking them to rate the level of importance of a list of teaching tasks. Based on faculty interviews and a review of relevant research, 64 teaching tasks were identified and included in the survey instrument. A factor analysis produced seven reliable factors. Three factors contained only two tasks under each factor and half of the teaching tasks did not load into any category. Of interest was the fact that over half of the teaching tasks had a rating of 6.0 on the 7-point scale and more than half of the tasks that were rated 6.0 or higher did not load into categories using factor analysis. Further examination of the results is required to determine why highly rated teaching tasks did not fall (load onto) into any factor. Results of the importance of the tasks will form the basis of faculty development efforts aimed at providing faculty with professional development in critical competencies to ensure online teaching success.