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PHENOMENOLOGICAL INQUIRY ON THE DUAL ROLE OF PROFESSOR/DESIGNER IN ONLINE EDUCATION

R. Mendez

Berkeley College (UNITED STATES)
Online education is a cost-effective way for US universities to accept more students and increase the proportion of American college graduates. Online education had experienced an exponential growth as a method of learning over the past few years. More and more students are recognizing the benefit of online education. The increasing demand for distance learning programs and high cost of employing ID professionals prompted the reliance of some universities on their faculty members to develop their online courses. In some cases, professors assigned to the task do not have appropriate instructional design training. This phenomenological investigates the lived experiences of faculty members, who have no ID training, in designing their own online courses. This research aims to promote awareness about the issue and enlighten stakeholders regarding the potential benefits and damages to the quality of education associated with this practice.

The increased availability of online courses comes with concerns regarding quality of online courses being offered. Anxieties over quality have necessitated design of online courses that meet minimum quality and industry standards. Faculty-designers (educational professionals untrained in instructional design) have emerged as critical components in development of online courses and a need has arisen to ensure that faculty-designers possess appropriate skills and competencies to maintain quality of online courses. This research identified skills for educational professionals untrained in instructional design by identifying basic skills and competencies enabling faculty-designers to develop online courses.