Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 198

Relationship Between Learning Style, Gender, and Satisfaction Toward Training of Adjunct Online Faculty

Dissertation Submitted to Northcentral University Graduate Faculty of the School of Education in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

by TERESA DOTSON LEES

Prescott Valley, Arizona July 2011

UMI Number: 3472257

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

UMI
Dissertation Publishing

UMI 3472257 Copyright 2011 by ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This edition of the work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code.

ProQuest LLC 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346

Copyright 2011 Teresa Dotson Lees

11

APPROVAL PAGE

Relationship Between Learning Style, Gender, and Satisfaction Toward Training of Adjunct Online Faculty by Teresa Dotson Lees Approved by:

Chair: Dr. Aaron L.VGivan, Ph. Member: Dr. Scott T. Ebbrecht, Ed.D. Member: Dr. Robert D. O'Connor, Ph.D.

Certified by

t/v/II
School DearkDr. Dennis J. Lessard, Ph.D Date

iii

Abstract Growth in distance education programs has required academic institutions to seek and train additional adjunct faculty. Training program content and delivery methods vary among institutions: however, there is an absence of research on whether incorporating learning strategies that consider assumptions about an adult learner increases satisfaction levels in faculty training. This quantitative, non-experimental study examined the dependent variable of satisfaction felt by adjunct online faculty in relation to learning style, gender, and the method and content of training programs. Stratified random sampling yielded 139 faculty who had taught an online course and participated in an organized faculty training program. Instruments used were Felder and Soloman's ILS and Frese's Online Faculty Training Survey. Pearson's r determined a correlation between teaching experience and faculty satisfaction toward both training method and training content, r (135) = 0.215,/? = .011 and r (125) = .280,p = 0.001, respectively. ANOVA revealed statistically significant relationships between the Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global learning style subgroups toward training content, F(2,124) = 5.43, p .006 and F(2, 124) - 3.08,/? = .049 respectively. Independent Mests found significant relationships between gender and satisfaction toward both training method, 7(137) = 2.28, /? = .024, and training content, 7(126) = 2.25,/? = .026, with males indicating greater satisfaction levels. Statistically significant correlations were identified for the Visual/Verbal subgroup between learning style and training format in relation to faculty satisfaction toward overall training, where this subgroup, F(2,126) = 3.10,/? = 0.05, showed more effect on satisfaction than did training method, F(2,126) = 1.42,/? = .24.

iv

Training method revealed stronger correlations to satisfaction than learning style for Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups. These findings provide research based support for the consideration of learning style and gender when developing training programs for faculty. Incorporating opportunities for open communication and collaboration between faculty and instructors through reflection and online mentoring will increase satisfaction levels, improve faculty self-concept, increase instructor effectiveness, and aid in retention efforts. Further study is recommended on gender attitudes toward communication methods and the correlation to faculty satisfaction toward training.

Acknowledgement Thanks and gratitude go to the many individuals who supported me through this dissertation process. Thanks to my committee members, Dr. Aaron L. Givan, Dr. Scott T. Ebbrecht, and Dr. Robert D. O'Connor, for their feedback. Special thanks go to my husband, Nick, for being there to help when I needed an extra hand, and to my son Robert, whose technical expertise and academic insight facilitated this process. Thanks also to Dr. Tamrala Swafford, who always had expertise and encouraging words when I desperately needed them, and Ms. Dana Taylor, who served as a confidant along with being an excellent editor. Special thanks goes to a core group of ladies who offered encouragement when it was needed and wonderful diversions from this process. To Rita, Jullie, Amanda, and Linda, your support and friendship over the years have been a salvation.

VI

Dedication For my husband, my son, and my parents - with all my love.

Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures Chapter 1: Introduction Background Problem Statement Purpose Theoretical Framework Research Questions Hypotheses Nature of the Study Significance of the Study Definitions Summary Chapter 2: Literature Review Concerns of Distance Education Faculty and Administrators Pedagogy Technology Training Methods Adjunct Online Faculty as Adult Learners Andragogy Theory of Learning Constructivist/Transformational Learning Theory The Role of the Instructor Indicators of Faculty Satisfaction Learning Style and Adult Learners Learning Style and Adjunct Faculty as Adult Learners Learning Style and Gender Satisfaction and Learning Style Satisfaction and Gender Satisfaction and Training Summary Chapter 3: Research Method Research Methods and Design Participants Materials/Instruments Operational Definition of Variables Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations Ethical Assurances viii x xi 1 3 4 5 8 10 14 17 18 20 24 25 25 29 31 31 36 37 39 40 43 44 48 52 55 57 58 62 67 72 74 76 83 86 94 98

Summary Chapter 4: Findings Results Descriptive Statistics Research Question 1 Research Question 2 Research Question 3 Research Question 4 Research Question 5 Evaluation of Findings Summary Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions Implications Recommendations Conclusions References Appendixes Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix

99 101 101 102 104 112 118 120 121 126 134 137 139 149 153 156 163 164 180 181 186

A: Online Faculty Training Survey B: Permission for Use of Online Faculty Training Survey C: Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles D: Invitation Letter and Informed Consent

IX

List of Tables Table 1 Online Faculty Training Survey: Question Analysis and Survey Items Table 2 Gender of Survey Participants Table 3 Training Distribution of Survey Participants Table 4 Age, Education, and Experience of Survey Participants Table 5 Relationship between Preferred Learning Style and Satisfaction With Training Format: ANOVA Results Table 6 Correlations Between Satisfaction With Training Format, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Table 7 Item Analysis for Satisfaction Toward Training Content Scale Table 8 Relationship between Preferred Learning Style and Satisfaction With Training Content: ANOVA Results Table 9 Correlations Between Satisfaction With Training Content, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Table 10 Gender and Satisfaction With Training Format Table 11 Gender and Satisfaction With Training Scope or Content. Table 12 Item Analysis for Satisfaction For Overall Training Experience Table 13 Correlations Between Quality of Institution's Training Program, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Table 14 Comparison Between Methods of Training and Preferred Learning Style and Effect on Faculty Satisfaction Toward The Overall Training Experience Table 15 Relationship Between Method of Training Format By Gender and Satisfaction With Training 112 114 102 102 103 104

Ill

116 118 119 121 122

123 124

131

List of Figures Figure 1. Active - Reflective Learners Figure 2. Sensing - Intuitive Learners Figure 3. Visual - Verbal Learners Figure 4. Sequential - Global Learners Figure 5. Satisfaction With Training Format Figure 6. Quality of Training Content 106 107 108 109 110 115

XI

Chapter 1: Introduction The 21 st century has seen significant advances in technology brought about by the increasing expansion of the World Wide Web. These advancements are increasing the educational opportunities available to learners by offering the option of high-quality distance education. Student enrollment in online courses has rapidly increased, and during fall 2008, better than 25% of post-secondary students chose online courses (Allen & Seaman, 2010). This represents a 17% increase over fall 2007. In addition, 87% of the public institutions have seen a greater demand for online opportunities over the last year, while a majority of the private for-profit institutions have seen an increase in their budget to accommodate their influx of students (Allen & Seaman, 2010). Although, in part, these increases in student enrollment have been attributed to the current economic downturn, Allen and Seaman (2010) found that the growth has led to a paradigm shift within post-secondary institutions as administrators strive to meet the needs of their student population through development of new courses and programs. Of concern throughout current literature is how faculty members, many of them experienced professors but new to the online format, are being prepared to assume the challenges of online teaching (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault, Waldman, Alexander, & Zhao, 2008; Regino, 2009). Pedagogical skills needed in order to successfully teach students in an online environment vary significantly from those utilized by traditional faculty members who regularly engage in face-to-face interaction with their students. Experienced faculty need guidance in converting existing face-to-face courses to the online format, while newer faculty members, those with little

to no prior teaching experience, must acquire the skills in both pedagogy and technology needed for course development and presentation. The requirement for different skills from those used in traditional classrooms or the professional workplace creates anxiety on the part of faculty members who transition into the online environment. Faculty concern over existing technology, or lack of access to adequate technology and tools, serves to lower satisfaction levels toward online teaching (Perreault et al., 2008). To address the need for increased technology skills, research has shown that effective training programs are those that are designed to train faculty utilizing the course delivery system that faculty members will be using to deliver their courses (Wolf, 2006). Apprehension over technology is not the only area that has been found to affect faculty satisfaction. When researching the effect of preferred learning styles on university students, Saleh (1997) identified significant gender differences which led to recommendations for a variety of instructional activities that recognize learning preferences throughout instruction. Providing quality training programs, those developed with consideration for an individual's preferred learning style and gender, was found to lead to an improved educational experience for distance learners (Saleh, 1997), which also improved student retention. Included in this chapter are the background and theoretical overview to support the continual need for current research exploring factors that impact satisfaction and retention of adjunct online faculty. Research supporting the importance of developing quality training programs is included. The problem and purpose are presented along with the methodological design and participants for this study.

Background Due to the changing organizational structure of previously traditional institutions, many current faculty members are being directed into the online environment. Others, many having neither prior teaching experience nor training, seek the opportunity to embrace the online environment as an extension of their technical or their professional expertise. Of primary concern for both faculty and administrators is the type of training each instructor should receive prior to teaching in the online environment. For many adjunct online faculty, especially those entering the online environment initially, their training received prior to teaching their first course, as well as ongoing professional development opportunities, will determine whether they will be successful. Significant research exists which documents the need to address student learning styles when creating courses within an online environment (Bates & Watson, 2008; Terrell, 2005). Limited research, however, is available addressing the needs of adult faculty who are also learning. To meet the increasing need for quality online programs, comprehensive training programs are needed for adjunct online faculty. Even though the majority of institutions offering online courses do offer training programs for their online faculty, the types of training being offered are limited (Allen & Seaman, 2010). Informal mentoring is being offered by 59% of these institutions, while 65% report the availability of internal formal training courses (Allen & Seaman, 2010). Although many training programs are being created for faculty members who are either choosing, or being encouraged, to teach using this online format, nearly one-fifth (19%) of academic institutions fail to offer training opportunities for faculty who are now teaching distance education courses (Allen & Seaman, 2010).

Paramount for university administrators is that successful training programs not only encompass the necessary pedagogy and technology skills required for successful online teaching, but that they also be presented in a manner that will be considered comprehensive and appropriate for faculty. Exploring relationships between the variables that affect faculty satisfaction will aid organizational leaders in the development of training programs that are meaningful for adult learners. By ensuring that training is comprehensive and offered in a method that is embraced by all faculty, regardless of gender, the transition from the traditional classroom to the online classroom environment can be made easier and more rewarding for all faculty. Problem Statement A dramatic increase in distance education programs has created the need to address documented concerns of adjunct online faculty members (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). These studies suggest how training programs for newer faculty should be designed to be considered satisfactory and comprehensive. Adult learning theories propose that adults are self-directed learners (Knowles, 1975; Mezirow, 2000), which includes faculty members. Recent studies have identified indicators of faculty satisfaction that are directly related to either the method of delivery or how thorough an online training program is (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Regino, 2009; Wolf, 2006). For training to be beneficial and satisfying there is interest in whether adult learning theory should be considered by course developers as they choose appropriate learning strategies for these programs. A number of studies recommending best practices for training program development indicated that course developers may overlook characteristics affecting

adult learners, such as gender and learning style (Biro, 2005; Fish & Gill, 2009). Researchers have studied how adult student satisfaction and success is affected by gender and learning styles (Saleh, 1997; Witowski, 2008). However, their connection to the satisfaction levels, and ultimately the retention, of adjunct online faculty remains unexplored. Fish and Gill (2009) found that poorly trained faculty may lack understanding of the value of online instruction. Failure to develop and maintain effectively trained and motivated adjunct online faculty has been found to: (a) impact student learning, when it reduces the instructor's ability to develop and deliver quality online courses (Biro, 2005); (b) impact faculty retention, when it reduces faculty engagement and motivation toward online instruction (Betts, 2009); and (c) jeopardize the institutional success of online programs, when it increases the costs associated with managing faculty turnover and attrition resulting from decreased faculty commitment to the academic community as a whole (Betts & Sikorski, 2008). Purpose The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to increase the existing literature on pedagogy and adult learning theory by evaluating significant relationships between preferred learning style, gender, and the components of an individual training program. Of interest was how these variables affect the level of satisfaction felt by an adjunct online faculty toward his or her training experience. Online faculty training data were collected through a non-experimental, Web-based survey (Appendix A) modified by the investigator, with permission from the developer (Appendix B), from a dissertation completed by Joan Frese (2006) for Nova Southeastern University. This tool was also used to collect demographic data regarding age, prior

experience, and faculty education level. Preferred learning style data were obtained through use of a Web-based version of the Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles (ILS) (Appendix C), which measured learning style preferences based on the four dimensions of the Felder-Silverman learning style model (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Participants were directed to complete the ELS survey first, and then include the result as part of the demographic questionnaire. The following variables and constructs were evaluated in this study. 1. Independent variables are elements that could cause a change in the dependent variable. Within this study, independent variables included a participant's (a) preferred learning style, (b) gender, (c) scope of training received, and (d) method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Training scope and method are included in the construct of training. Although age of the participants, prior teaching or professional experience, and educational level were not of primary interest for this study, were been identified and have been treated as mediating variables in an effort to control for them during the study (Black, 2005). A dependent variable is one which is measured to gauge the effect of an independent variable. For this study, the dependent variables are the level of faculty satisfaction felt by the participants toward a training program, the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope of the training, and the level of satisfaction felt toward the overall training program. Responses from any participants who had not participated in a formal training program were excluded from the data.

The population for this quantitative non-experimental study included adjunct online faculty, either full- or part-time, who had taught an online class and who had participated in organized training in preparation to teach in the online environment. Survey participants were recruited from the target population which included faculty teaching for private, for-profit institutions accredited through the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). In an effort to control for administrative expectations, and to add validity to the study, only schools which were similarly accredited and working under the same guidelines for quality were selected for the sample. By limiting the sample in this way, this researcher could alleviate differences in training procedures that might be mandated by some accrediting agencies but not by others. Choosing schools with similar requirements for their training practices provided more reliable results, which could then be generalized to the total population. To ensure that the project was generalizable this researcher sought participants from a minimum of four degree-granting institutions, all of which offered programs delivered through distance education. These were selected based, in part, on their geographic location. Even though online educators are not usually perceived as being defined by geographical boundaries, selecting schools that were dispersed throughout the country offered a broader range of faculty characteristics. In an effort to avoid making either a Type I or Type II error in statistical analysis, a priori analysis was done specifying a standard power of 80%, an alpha level of 0.05, and a moderate effect size. The Means: Difference between two independent means (two groups), two-tailed t-test (alpha = 0.05, power = .80, moderate effect size = .5) gave an a priori sample size = 128. The F-test for ANOVAS: ANOVA: Fixed effects, omnibus,

one-way (alpha = 0.05, power = .80, moderate effect size = .25, 3 groups) gave an a priori sample size = 159. This analysis determined that an appropriate sample size for this study was 159 participants (G*Power, 2001). Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework for this study focused on the adult learning perspectives expressed through Knowles' (1975) theory of Andragogy and Mezirow's (2000) Transformative Learning Theory. Each provided insight into characteristics of adult learners that suggested why and when learning occurred for an adult. Although research has explored correlations between the variables of satisfaction, learning style, and gender and adult academic success in students, little definitive was known about the potential influence of learning theory on the level of satisfaction felt by adjunct online faculty toward a formalized training experience. Both Knowles (1990) and Mezirow (2000) agreed that learning occurs for adults when experiences become meaningful. Knowles characterized adult learners as needbased learners, learning through experience, and using a problem-solving approach. Mezirow adhered to the learner-centered constructivist philosophy, where learners control the pace of their learning while being assisted throughout the learning process by the instructor (Cercone, 2008). Mezirow described both instrumental learning, that resulting from cause and effect, and communicative learning, that which comes from an individual's feelings. Both Knowles (1990) and Mezirow (2000) believed that change occurred when an adult learner was ready to transform experiences into learning. Knowles stated that learners were ready to learn when they felt the need to know something, and his decision

was based on how important the learner perceived the information to be and how it would help them to solve an immediate problem. For Mezirow, learning occurred through consideration of, or reflection on, the process or the content of the experience and how it changed the learner's frame of reference or perspective (Taylor, 2007). The literature supported a clear correlation between the presence of or lack of formalized training and the resulting quality of course development and course delivery (Biro, 2005; Dempsey, Fisher, Wright, & Anderton, 2008; Fish & Gill, 2009; GaillardKenney, 2006; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008; Wolf, 2006). Some adjunct faculty have successfully trained themselves, as they have either not been offered formalized training or have failed to take advantage of the training opportunity. For most faculty, the formalized training program is a recognized way to receive needed instruction addressing the pedagogy and the technology skills necessary for creating and delivering online courses (Perreault et al., 2008). In addition to the training content, the delivery method for a training program has been shown to influence the overall success of a training experience for adult learners (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007). Although collaborative instruction has been successful for training adults, which supports the consideration of adult learning theory when developing faculty training programs, other less interactive programs, such as written training manuals or online tutorials, have been successful as well (Blodgett, 2008). The process of mentoring has also been effective for providing adjunct faculty with needed guidance as well as providing a connection for on-going faculty support (Biro, 2005; Blodgett, 2008; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009).

10

The instructional design of distance education courses addresses the needs of the adult online learner by utilizing various learning strategies and teaching approaches (Kozub, 2010; Romanelli, Bird, & Ryan, 2009; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Consideration for learning style preferences during course development helps adjunct faculty overcome student diversity by recognizing differences in the virtual classroom (Saleh, 1997). Although gender has been shown to be an important differentiator between learners, learners will usually choose learning strategies that match their learning style (Ouellette, 2000). Females may prefer particular learning strategies more from a psychological preference or a desire for safety than from an instructional preference (Garland & Martin, 2005), where males may be more comfortable psychologically but still show a learning strategy preference based on brain hemisphericity (Saleh, 1997). The discussion over what variables have the most influence on faculty satisfaction focuses primarily on what Knowles (1990) characterized as intrinsic motivators. The need for formalized training for adjunct online faculty is critical to providing not only quality course offerings for online students but for creating a feeling of worth for the faculty (Blodgett, 2008; Milliken & Jurgens, 2008; Regino, 2009). This feeling of worth and recognition as being an integral part of the learning community has become more important as distance education continues to expand and educational institutions are challenged to entice and retain more quality faculty. Research Questions The research questions stated for this study were designed to identify and evaluate significant relationships between the independent and dependent variables and constructs. Independent variables included preferred learning style, gender, and training. The

11

dependent variables included satisfaction toward the training method, the scope of training, and the overall training program offered in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The following research questions guided this study. Ql. What, if any, is the relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment? Hlo. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Hla. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment.

12

Q2.

What, if any, is the relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment?

H2o. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H2a. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Q3. What, if any, is the relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment?

13

H3o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H3a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Q4. What, if any, is the relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment? H4o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H4a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Q5. Which has a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience-methods of training or preferred learning styles? H5o. There is no statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey

14

(Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. H5a. There is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. Hypotheses Hypotheses were tested using data received from non-experimental, Web-based surveys. The null hypotheses indicate the expectation for non-significant relationships between the variables, where the alternative hypotheses indicate that significant relationships exist. The tested hypotheses are aligned with the research questions. Hlo. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Hla. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following

15

independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H2o. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H2a. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment.

16

H3o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H3a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H4o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H4a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H5o. There is not a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. H5a. There is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey

17

(Frese, 2006),or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. Nature of the Study This quantitative non-experimental study was designed to answer the research questions proposed. These questions explored relationships between preferred learning style, gender, and the components of an individual training program, relative to how these variables could affect the level of satisfaction felt by an adjunct online faculty toward his or her training experience. Two quantitative instruments were used for data collection. Data pertaining to preferred learning style were obtained through use of a Webbased version of Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS) which focuses on four learning category pairs: Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, and Sequential/Global (Felder & Soloman, 1991). Felder and Spurlin (2005) stated that the ILS has construct validity as well as test-retest and internal consistency reliability. Litzinger, Lee, Wise, and Felder (2005) and Zywno (2003) also found the ILS to be both valid and reliable for assessing different learning styles. As the results of this inventory were not available directly to the researcher, participants were directed to include these results as part of the demographic data requested. Joan Frese's (2006) Online Faculty Training Survey was used to gather demographic data including age, prior experience, and educational level of participants. Data measuring satisfaction levels toward training, along with the results of the ILS, were also gathered utilizing this survey. This non-experimental, Web-based, Likert-scale survey was adapted, with permission from Frese, from the original document, which was

18

developed and used for her doctoral dissertation. This survey was also used in at least one other doctoral dissertation by Regino (2009). Frese (2006) conducted a pilot study to pretest this survey tool to determine its reliability. An expert panel ensured that the survey was not vaguely worded, had a consistent appearance, and contained no uncertainty in the answer form. Eight online faculty at Frese's institution established the validity of the document as they verified that the questions were plainly stated. The survey was revised as a result of their suggestions. This current study utilized stratified random sampling to select a sample consisting of adjunct online faculty who had taught an online course and had completed an organized faculty online-training program. Significance of the Study This study is significant as it enhances the present literature concerning faculty satisfaction and training. Findings are germane to factors commonly affecting faculty satisfaction while specifically addressing a lack of literature regarding the impact of formalized training programs on the satisfaction levels of adjunct online faculty. The information adds empirical evidence regarding the need to consider adult learning theory and utilize constructivist or transformational methods when developing online curriculum for adult learners. Adjunct online faculty, online program managers, and educational administrators benefit from the study in several ways. First, adjunct faculties participating in formalized training programs are considered to be adult learners. Information gleaned from this study clarifies, for both faculty and administrators, areas where current training methods

19

may result in lower levels of satisfaction for faculty toward either the content of the training program or the method of training delivery. Second, adjunct faculty are challenged with acquiring both pedagogical skills and technological skills needed to successfully develop and deliver online courses (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Fish & Gill, 2009; Galbraith & Fouch, 2007; Kasworm, 2008; Ouellette, 2000; Perreault et al., 2009). Faculty competence in these skills has been shown to affect student academic success (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). A goal of this study was to provide administrators of training programs with strategies to improve the quality of these programs either through content or through delivery options. Third, instructors who are cognizant of their student's learning styles are better able to facilitate learning (Ouellette, 2000; Romanelli et al., 2009). Likewise, training instructors who are comfortable with various teaching strategies can assist faculty as they develop their own teaching strategies that facilitate learning for all students. Information gleaned from this study identifies, for both faculty and administration, areas where current training methods may be improved by incorporating constructivist or transformational strategies into online curriculum for adult learners. Results of this study provide data relevant for decision-making to administrators and faculty as they engage in development of training programs for faculty. Program developers strive to provide training opportunities that are meaningful to faculty who are adult learners. Addressing areas where faculty training is considered lacking enables developers to more completely meet the needs of adjunct online faculty. Increasing the

20

level of satisfaction faculty feel toward their training experience will aid in retention of students and faculty and, ultimately, improve the quality of the online course offerings. Definitions The following terms are used throughout this study: Active Learner. Considered a principle of constructivist education (Breedo, as cited in Gulati, 2008), active learners create meaning by working with things and enjoy working in groups (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Adult Learner. "A person who is responsible for decisions that affect his or her learning opportunities and the resulting consequences. Could be legal-age designated at 18 or 21. Often refers to postsecondary learners" (Schlosser & Simonson, 2006, p. 32). Knowles (1990) stated that an individual becomes an adult when he is aware that he is responsible for himself. Adjunct Online Faculty. Full-time or part-time faculty members who function within an online learning environment, often coming from a corporate environment, who enjoy more flexibility than their full-time traditional counterparts but are in most cases denied the benefits, compensation, and academic support expected by full-time, tenured professors (Gaillard-Kenney, 2006). Here an adjunct online faculty member is considered employed on a term contract basis with no guarantee of being rehired for the next academic term or year. Andragogy. Knowles (1990) viewed andragogy as the antithesis of pedagogy, referring to it as the " . . . art and science of helping adults learn" (p. 54). Andragogy is a set of assumptions based on how adults learn best, formalized in 1970 by Malcolm Knowles (1990) who based the theory on four premises: (1)

21

adults are self-directed in their learning; (2) adults have much more personal experience that they bring to their learning; (3) adults are focused on the developmental tasks of their social roles; and (4) adults focus toward learning shifts from subject-centeredness to one of problem-centeredness. (Schlosser & Simonson, 2006, p. 34) Course Management System. These include Internet-based software applications, such as WebCT , Blackboard , and Desire2Learn , that are used to manage and distribute " . . . online resources and Web-based courses. Many content management systems a suite of tools including enrollment management, student tracking, threaded discussion, chat, internal e-mail, file distribution, and student Web page creation" (Schlosser & Simonson, 2006, p. 58). Constructivism. Constructivism is defined as ".. . the belief that individuals construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences" (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009, p. 226). Distance Education. "Institution-based formal education, where the learning group is separated from the instructor, and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors" (Schlosser & Simonson, 2006, p. 1). This expression is considered synonymous with online learning. Faculty Satisfaction. "Faculty satisfaction means that faculty find online teaching effective and professionally beneficial" ("Quality Framework for Online Education," n.d., p. 3). For-profit Institutions. For-profit institutions are those " . . . private, nonpublic, or independent schools... " without governmental funds and typically managed by

22

religious or secular boards (www.answers.com, 2010). For this study, only 4-year, degree-granting, non-vocational, for-profit institutions are utilized. Global Learners. These students employ a thinking process where they create meaning in large pieces (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Higher Education. Higher education is defined as "education beyond the secondary level, especially education at the college or university level" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000). Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS). "An instrument designed to assess preferences on the four dimensions of the Felder-Silverman (1991) learning style model" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Intuitive Learners. Intuitive learners are " . . . abstract thinkers, innovative, and oriented toward theories and underlying meanings" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Online Courses. These are considered " . . . distance education because the students are physically separated from each other and the professor" (Smith & Mitry, 2008, p. 147). Online Learning. This is where students and instructors interact with course content and additional academic resources while connected to a computer or computer network (The American Heritage College Dictionary, 2007). Online learning includes educational experiences held via Internet technology, usually through use of a course management system such as WebCT , Blackboard , Desire2Learn , etc. This is considered " . . . distance education because the students are physically separated from each other as well as from the professor" (Smith & Mitry, 2008, p. 147).

23

Pedagogy. Pedagogy is described " . . . as the art and science of teaching children" (Knowles, 1990, p. 54). "The pedagogical model assigns to the teacher full responsibility for making all decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, when it will be learned, and if it has to be learned" (Knowles, 1990, p. 54). It is teacherdirected education (Knowles, 1990). Preferred Learning Style. Learning styles are defined as " . . . characteristic cognitive, affective, and psychological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment" (Felder & Brent, 2005, p. 58). Ng, Pinto, and Williams (2008) added that when students do not favor a particular learning style, they will choose a one that is the most advantageous for a particular situation. Reflective Learners. Reflective learners are those who " . . . learn by thinking things through, prefer working alone or with a single familiar partner" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Sensing Learners. A Sensing learner is a ".. . concrete thinker, practical, oriented toward facts and procedures" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Sequential Learners. Sequential learners have a ".. . linear thinking process, learn in small incremental steps" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Transformational Learning. Mezirow (as cited in Kroth & Boverie, 2009) stated that "Transformational learning occurs when an individual's frame of reference his or her paradigm - shifts to become more inclusive, permeable, integrated, and differentiated" (p. 45).

24

Verbal Learners. Verbal learners " . . . prefer written and spoken explanations" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Visual Learners. Visual learners " . . . prefer visual representations of presented material, such as pictures, diagrams and flow charts" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 103). Summary The impact of the factors determining faculty satisfaction level is troublesome for administrators as successful distance education programs need committed faculty who are able to design and facilitate online programs (Fish & Gill, 2009). Supporting adjunct online faculty by providing opportunities for them to participate in formalized training and other professional development opportunities that are meaningful for them as adult learners serves as motivators for them. This increased level of motivation, or satisfaction, improves their course quality, improves student retention, and increases their feeling of worth within the academic community (Biro, 2005; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; OomenEarly & Murphy, 2009). Creating and maintaining online programs is costly (Betts, 2008). With the wealth of knowledge available regarding the factors affecting satisfaction for online faculty, what has not been clear was the potential impact that learning preferences and gender have on the satisfaction level felt toward particular characteristics of a formalized training program. Care taken during the design of these programs to incorporate elements that increase the level of satisfaction felt toward the training experience ultimately supports institutions' efforts toward retention of both faculty and students.

25

Chapter 2: Literature Review This literature review is offered to aid in clarifying the purpose for this study as well as to identify the concerns challenging post-secondary institutions that offer online education. Of primary interest is literature addressing preferred learning style, gender, training, and satisfaction with a focus on how these variables may affect adult learners, specifically adjunct online faculty. This chapter includes theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to adult learner that may affect faculty satisfaction. Research is presented describing the impact that both learning style preferences and gender may have on the level of faculty satisfaction toward training opportunities, as well as documentation of conflicting views on faculty support and training, confirming the need for continued effort to explore relationships between faculty satisfaction and faculty training programs. The literature was collected from both Internet-based library databases and traditional academic libraries. The majority of relevant literature was found in scholarly journals, doctoral dissertations, and online journals rather than in books, possibly due to the rapid expansion of the online environment. Numerous authors and researchers, both historical and current, are named to provide depth of knowledge in the area and to provide both supporting and conflicting opinions in regard to the topics. Concerns of Distance Education Faculty and Administrators "Online enrollment has more than doubled from an estimated 1.6 million students in fall 2002 to 3.94 million students in fall 2007 and grew by 12.9 % from fall 2006 to fall 2007..." (Association of Public and Land-grant Universities-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning [Sloan-C], 2009, f 6). With this unprecedented growth

26

have come unparalleled challenges within the academic community. As online enrollments continue to increase, post-secondary institutions continue to expand their offerings (Allen & Seaman, 2010). Consequently, educational institutions are being challenged to find ways to successfully entice and retain more faculties as they satisfy the growing need within the online environment. The need for additional faculty to develop and present online programs has required university administrators to seek talent both inside and outside the academic community. As a large segment of these courses are being offered as program extensions at traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, many full-time, tenured professors are assuming the task of reworking their face-to-face courses to fit the online format. At these and other institutions, in order to meet the demand for additional instructors, administrators seek adjunct online faculty to fill these positions. Gaillard-Kenney (2006) compiled information pertinent to adjunct faculty who are being seen as a new type of faculty member. Due to their real-world experience, and paired with their willingness to teach, these part-time or full-time professors bring a wealth of information and opportunity to the academic environment (Biro, 2005; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; Milliken & Jurgens, 2008). While comparing them to full-time, tenured faculty, Gaillard-Kenney stated that these adjunct faculty members are more flexible and more eager to undertake online education. Of major interest is their background in business or industry which makes them more innovative in the classroom. Universities can hire experts in their respective fields who have the freedom and flexibility to choose the courses they want to teach (Biro, 2005).

27

A trend in the literature shows that there is little faculty concern over lack of technical expertise of this newer faculty, but there is significant concern about the external factors that affect each instructor's ability to teach effectively (Betts, 2009; Biro, 2005; Milliken & Jurgens, 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Wolf, 2006). Some of the major difficulties hindering faculty engagement in online instruction in recent years have been attributed to changes in faculty roles, organizational changes, and changes in administrative structure (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Oomen-Early and Murphy (2009) used data from faculty who had taught online for a minimum of two semesters to " . . . explore the attitudes, experiences, teaching practices, and perceived barriers to effective online instruction for university faculty" (p. 223). The justification for their study was derived from three historical theories, namely Constructivism, Job-Demand Control Theory, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Faculty members were given a qualitative, open-ended survey which allowed them to report what they perceived to be barriers to effective online instruction as well as their suggestions for how these could be reduced. From this research, which was conducted at Texas Women's University and utilized 101 online faculty members, several reoccurring themes surfaced. Over 87% of the participants indicated concern over lack of faculty support in regard to the demands faculty face when teaching online (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). They primarily cited concern over time involved in preparation and course management in addition to inadequate resources afforded to them compared to their counterparts teaching courses face-to-face (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Their findings identified needs that could initiate change within a university setting, while, simultaneously, allowing faculty

28

members to become more satisfied in their role as online instructors. Oomen-Early and Murphy's (2009) results led to the theory that by allowing experienced online faculty to present what they perceive to be their realities with online instruction, the administrators, staff, and faculty can then work together to develop strategies and policies that improve outcomes for all involved in e-learning. Faculty support and training are seen as problematic for new faculty members (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Although the practice of hiring adjunct faculty may alleviate personnel shortages for the institution, many times these newer adjunct professors feel that they are not being supported to their satisfaction (Milliken & Jurgens, 2008). While adjunct faculty members make ideal candidates for the delivery of online courses, universities have not provided the level of recruitment, training, and long-term support needed to help them stay effective in this new role (Biro, 2005). These faculty members are concerned about maintaining online course quality and look for opportunities to learn more about how to teach effectively in the online environment (Betts, 2009; Biro, 2005; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). In order to maintain academic integrity, Gaillard-Kenney (2006) found that sound administrative practices in regard to hiring and training practices should be established which can enhance the standing of adjunct faculty within the campus community. Providing opportunities for faculty to participate in establishing their guidelines and procedures serves as a motivator for them and increases their feeling of worth within the academic community (Gaillard-Kenney, 2006). Other institution-related factors which have been acknowledged as creating discontent among faculty include concern over the increased workload (Davis, 2009; Dempsey et al., 2008; Mitchell, 2009; Oomen-Early &

29

Murphy, 2009), the expectation of adequate compensation (Davis, 2009; Shea, 2007), the desire for an equitable reward system for promotions and tenure opportunities (Grant & Thornton, 2007; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009), and concern over the quality of the resulting courses. More recently the focus of concern has shifted away from administrative issues and toward the need for faculty to become versed in the technological and pedagogical skills needed for the online environment (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Administrators are primarily concerned about the type of training each instructor receives prior to teaching in the online environment. Wolfe (2006) stated that faculty teaching online will be successful when able to participate in a formal training program. Training and institutional support have become particular areas of concern for administrators as well as for faculty. Pedagogy Of concern throughout current literature is how faculty members, many of them experienced professors but new to the online format, are being prepared to assume the challenges of online teaching (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008; Regino, 2009). As many adjunct faculty members are hired because of their professional experience and knowledge of their discipline, it is doubtful that they have had any training in effective pedagogical methods or how to develop appropriate curriculum (Backhaus, 2009). A major challenge for administrators responsible for online programs is how to provide the needed pedagogical and technological support for these faculties that will ensure that quality courses are being created and delivered. Researchers agree that the pedagogical skills needed in order to

30

successfully teach students in an online environment vary significantly from those utilized by traditional faculty members who regularly engage in face-to-face interaction with their students. Care must be taken to ensure that those trained in pedagogy appropriate for the online environment are actively involved in the course development process (Perreault et al., 2008). Instruction in how to successfully design engaging online activities that support learning is needed for those professors who may be experts in their fields but unfamiliar with appropriate teaching strategies (Perreault et al., 2008). Training programs must incorporate best practices into distance education which will produce more challenging courses (Grant & Thornton, 2007). Collaboration during instruction creates a sense of community which allows participants to share knowledge. Successful training practices incorporate pedagogy which includes article reviews and discussion, collegial interaction, exploring various technologies, working in teams, and acting as facilitators for class discussion (Wolf, 2006). This sharing promotes a deeper level of thought as the participants integrate these new experiences with those that are meaningful to them (Helm, 2008). What does concern this novice faculty is developing and delivering content, facilitating student interaction and communication, and assessment of student learning, all areas that need to be addressed through the use of particular technological platforms, or course management systems, designed for distance education (Biro, 2005). To address the need for increased technology skills, research has shown that effective training programs are those that utilize the course management system that faculty members will be using to deliver their courses (Regino, 2009; Wolf, 2006). Competency is needed in

31

regard to the course management system which will be used as well as in the appropriate pedagogy which will be taught. Technology As many adjuncts come to academia from backgrounds that have familiarized them with technology, most have little reservation about the use of technology itself (Biro, 2005). This competence level in basic technology skills, however, should not be assumed. Blodgett (2008) found that full-time instructors with prior teaching experience have an advantage when being introduced to online platforms, although not all researchers agree (Wolf, 2006). Those who disagree indicate a lack of comfort with the technology as a primary barrier to the online environment (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). Oomen-Early and Murphy (2009) found that faculty lacked the fundamental technological skills required to assist students in the learning process. They also found faculty concern over the lack of technological support during nontraditional working hours, inherent problems with old equipment, and software platforms that were incompatible and outdated. Being adjunct online faculty rather than traditional faculty, they felt that they were not being provided with the same amount or quality of technology as their more traditional peers. The methods of training and support, the flexibility of the training, and the perceptions of their worth within the academic community in relation to that of full-time, traditional faculty were all problematic for these instructors. Training Methods The availability of training has become a standard expectation of employees when forming an affiliation with an organization (Backhaus, 2009). Schmidt (2009), when

32

studying relationships between diversity and satisfaction in regard to job training, found that effective training programs are developed based on the needs of the employee. For adjunct online faculty, the need for training is related to their level of proficiency in the process of course development and delivery as well as their competency in the actual technological platforms being utilized at the particular institution. The presence of, or lack thereof, formalized training prior to creating effective distance learning courses has been shown to affect the quality of course development and course delivery (Biro, 2005; Dempsey et al., 2008; Fish & Gill, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008; Wolf, 2006). Until recently, formalized training programs for adjunct online faculty were not as prevalent, and the process of curriculum development had been left to the individual faculty member. Perreault et al. (2008), in a repeated study, surveyed " . . . 81 professors in 2001 and 140 in 2006..." (p. 6) and found that, in regard to the process of course development, most had taught themselves. In 2001, 63% of the participants responded that they were self-taught, where 74% indicated a lack of training in 2006 (Perreault et al., 2008). Although these statistics imply a lack of opportunity, many times adjunct faculty members fail to participate in training opportunities that are offered (Perreault et al, 2008). Looking to determine the training needs of adjunct faculty, Blodgett (2008) conducted a mixed methods study aimed at exploring what adjunct faculty perceived to be preferences in regard to training and course preparation. Of interest to researchers were demographic data and perceptions from faculty who had taught at least one course online. Utilizing focus groups and electronic surveys, Blodgett found that while a variety

33

of orientation and initial training experiences are provided to adjuncts, primarily administrative and technical in nature, most preferred opportunities for faculty development or mentoring which were available for full-time, tenured professors but usually unavailable to adjuncts (Biro, 2005; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). The concept of mentoring has been valuable for new adjunct faculty as it allows for partnering with experienced online instructors (Biro, 2005; Regino, 2009). This informal collaboration is helpful not only with preparation of courses but also provides a source for support for the new faculty member (Biro, 2005; Perrault et al., 2008). Faculty in Regino's (2009) study considered mentoring important to the overall quality of the training experience. Mitchell (2009), as well as Blodgett (2008), found that mentoring was another way experienced faculty members could have a part in assisting new online instructors. Although their feeling was that, for some faculty, distance education was not appropriate; these researchers found that mentoring relationships provided not only initial training but on-going support for these instructors as well. For some, and especially for those remote professors, this collaboration may be more informal and could be accomplished through e-mail or occasional meetings (Biro, 2005). Perrault et al. (2008) described this as a hybrid approach, where course development responsibility falls to individual faculty, but institutional support staff is available. This support may include instructional designers and technology experts as well as mentors. Development of instructional teams to support faculty as they prepare to teach online also provides an opportunity for more experienced faculty to partner within a

34

discipline to enhance quality and to create continuity within the institution (Betts, 2009; Biro, 2005; Perrault et al., 2008). In addition to faculty opinion about what areas need to be included in a comprehensive training program, administrators must be cognizant of faculty perception about the value of the program throughout the training process. When training experiences are not viewed by adjunct faculty as being engaging or beneficial for learning how to develop effective teaching techniques, at issue is not only the content of the training, or the pedagogy, that is being provided, but also the delivery method being used to provide the training program (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007). Allen and Seaman (2009), when surveying institutions regarding their formalized training methods, found that for those institutions that do offer training programs for their faculty, most provide more than one method of training. Although training programs are currently being presented successfully either faceto-face or electronically, traditional workshops are not the only option for valid training experiences. Formal training programs, those which encompass the different roles of online faculty, have been structured and delivered successfully through the use of teacher conducted webcasts, archived video, blogs, wikis, and reading lists (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Adults should have the ability to interact with other learners as well as the professor (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007), and less than adequate training usually includes less interactive or collaborative instruction, with more information being presented in the form of written manuals or lengthy, self-paced tutorials (Blodgett, 2008). A common experience for adjunct online faculty is that they are expected to teach with less support and training than traditional faculty, which lessens their perceived value

35

within the academic community (Blodgett, 2008; Milliken & Jurgens, 2008; Regino, 2009). Regino (2009) surveyed 75 community college faculty members when researching how online faculty teaching in community colleges perceived their formal training for teaching online. The lowest scoring items related to how well the faculty's institutions were providing specific components to ensure a quality training program. These, specifically, named lack of faculty incentives to teach online, the requirement for formalized training prior to online teaching, and the lack of appropriate limits for online classes as the areas where the institutions failed to provide adequate faculty support (Regino, 2009). Regino found that, although a primary concern of adjunct online faculty centered on the technological skills needed to successfully create and deliver all aspects of an online class, this area was seen as being satisfactorily addressed by the institution's formalized online faculty training program. Just as faculty need to be included in course design for curriculum they will be teaching, it is vital to include trainers in the development of the formalized training programs that they will be conducting (Wolfe, 2006). Trainers delivering these formal programs should also receive training prior to conducting this instruction (Wolfe, 2006). Distance education programs are proving successful when they are facilitated by instructors qualified in online techniques (Biro, 2005; Fish & Gill, 2009; Perreault et al., 2009; Wolf, 2006) and when faculty members have prior training in computing skills applicable to the platform they will be using (Dempsey et al., 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009, Wolf, 2006). When ongoing institutional support is available (Biro, 2005; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Wolf, 2006) and when faculty members are motivated to

36

work in the online environment, the availability of a comprehensive formalized training program can enhance faculty effectiveness and course quality. Adjunct Online Faculty as Adult Learners Faculty involved in training programs are, by nature, adult learners and, as such, they can be observed to see how they receive information as well as how they respond in a learning environment. This concept can be overlooked by institutions and by those who are developing faculty programs. Unfortunately, faculty do not always perceive themselves to be adult learners and, as such, do not acknowledge their need for time to explore and practice before feeling confident in their ability to teach effectively (Biro, 2005; Blodgett, 2008). According to Cercone (2008), the process of learning is about change, and adult learning should be seen in the same manner. When managing change, adult learning theory helps instructors understand the needs of their students which results in more meaningful learning experiences (Cercone, 2008). Many learning theories discuss adult learning characteristics. Just as students exhibit individual learning preferences, adult learners have their own learning preferences which have developed over time. As the focus of this study is toward the characteristics of adult learners that influence satisfaction, rather than characteristics or preferences that might affect learning or achievement, this review focuses on theoretical frameworks that explore how adults construct meaning from information, primarily those of Knowles' (1975) theory of andragogy and Mezirow's (1991) theory of Transformational Constructivism. Andragogy, explained as the study of how adults learn, is primarily credited to Knowles who felt that adults learn differently than children. In the 1950s, he

37

began to determine the characteristics that describe how an adult learner approaches the learning process. The constructivism theory, which describes the process of how learning occurs through active participation by the learner, can also provide insight into what generates learning. This theory will be discussed as it is presented through Mezirow's work with the Transformative Learning Theory. Both of these theories suggest a structure for how formal faculty online training programs should be designed. In addition, each provides justification for taking the unique characteristics of the adult learner into consideration during the development and implementation of formal online training programs. Andragogy Theory of Learning Malcolm Knowles (1990), a prominent theorist in the area of adult learning, described differences between how adults learn (andragogy) as compared to the learning characteristics of children. Considered the originator of the concept of adult learning, Knowles (1975) determined that adults choose appropriate learning strategies in order to enhance their learning experience, and because adult learners need to understand the purpose for learning, they must be both internally and externally motivated to learn (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007). Knowles' (1975) theory of andragogy emphasized that adults are, by nature, self-directed learners and described how, alone or aided by others, individuals identify what they need to learn, articulate their goals for learning, find the tools needed to facilitate learning, apply suitable learning approaches, and assess what they have learned. Defined as " . . . the art and science of helping adults learn" (Knowles, 1990, p. 54), the andragogical model of education differs from what is viewed as traditional education.

38

Pedagogy, which is seen as the traditional model of teaching children, assigns full responsibility for deciding what will be learned to the teacher. It is teacher-directed and is based on assumptions that learners need to know only what is being taught (Knowles, 1990). This can lead to the formation of a dependency which can, with time, affect the self-concept of the learner (Knowles, 1990). Neither the learner's experience nor level of motivation is seen as providing focus for learning for these younger students. Andragogy, in comparison, is based on assumptions that take into consideration the adult maturation process. Adults, who are inherently responsible for their own decisions, need to know why something is important and should be learned (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007; Knowles, 1990). Maturity provides them with a knowledge and experience base that allows them to draw meaning from within themselves about concepts that are being taught. They have a readiness to learn that enables them to take in information and begin to develop strategies that transfer it to practical situations (Knowles, 1990). Knowles' (1990) described an adult learner as someone who becomes motivated to learn upon determining a need for knowledge. This definition suggests that adjunct online faculty participating in a training program as adult learners must perceive a need for the training and must actively participate throughout the learning process for the instruction to be meaningful. For adult learners, motivation to learn can result from both internal and external pressures (Knowles, 1990). Both of these can be negatively affected by inaccessibility of opportunities or resources, time constraints, or training programs that violate or fail to consider the principles of adult learning (Knowles, 1990). For example, acquiring skills for a new job is considered external motivation and leads to increased job satisfaction which is internally driven.

39

Criticism surrounding andragogy results from the thought that other factors should be considered when determining how adults learn (Cercone, 2008). As everyone is diverse, a person's culture, physiology, reasoning style, and temperament are all seen as variables that influence how adults learn (Cercone, 2008; Felder & Brent, 2005). Merriam and Caffarella (as cited in Cercone, 2008) expressed concern that andragogy as a theory should more appropriately be considered simply principles of good practice when addressing adult learning, as they serve as a framework for emerging theory of adult learning. Constructivist/Transformational Learning Theory Constructivism has been influenced by many theorists who have also had considerable influence on the history of modern educational practices. John Dewey based his theories toward progressive education on how an individual's experiences are used to frame knowledge, while Ernst von Glasersfeld's theory of radical constructivism considers knowledge to be a cognitive process (Gulati, 2008). Constructivists argue that learning comes when learners are actively discovering and interpreting information for themselves (Lefrancois, 2000). As a learning theory, constructivism is described as being learner-centered, and the resulting environment allows learners to control the pace of their learning (Yang & Liu, 2007). This view is compared to the traditional model of pedagogy where the instruction and learning is instructor controlled. Being learnercentered rather than teacher-centered, the teacher assists, or guides, learners as they engage in self-directed explorations (Cercone, 2008). Transformative learning theory, considered to be a constructivist theory, has been more clearly explained by Jack Mezirow who offered that a person will experience a

40

transformation when an alteration occurs in way he or she sees the world (Cercone, 2008). Considered a significant theory relating to how learning occurs, transformative learning guides adult learners as they make sense of, or create meaning from, the experience (Kroth & Boverie, 2009). Cercone (2008) added that "Characteristics related to culture, life experiences, and gender may be more important to learning than the fact that a learner is considered an 'adult' " (p. 146). Taylor (2007), when reviewing the empirical research on transformative learning, determined that the teaching strategies being provided for adult educators are based on substantive research framed within sound theoretical assumptions. From this, Taylor concluded that transformative learning is still a worthwhile and active area of research in regard to adult learning, and that it seems to have replaced andragogy as the primary educational philosophy. Both instrumental learning, which equates to task-oriented problem-solving or cause and effect, and communicative learning, which focuses on how adults communicate their thoughts and feelings, are required for transformative learning and contribute to the learning transformation, as neither type of learning is deemed independently sufficient to develop understanding (Taylor, 2007). Change and learning result when, through the process of reflection, the adult learner becomes a more autonomous thinker rather than relying on the learning of others (Cercone, 2008). Thinking independently results in a shift in beliefs after an individual's frame of reference shifts, usually incrementally, over time (Kroth & Boverie, 2009). The Role of the Instructor Although many learning theories provide recommendations for successfully addressing the needs of adult learners, no single theory comprehensively addresses how

41

adult learning occurs (Cercone, 2008). Andragogy translates into a theory of learning which can have a significant impact on an adult's ability to learn and, perhaps, teach effectively. Andragogy, in conjunction with transformative theory, can provide insight and potential strategies that should be incorporated into an adult online learning environment (Cercone, 2008; Kasworm, 2008). As both instrumental learning and communicative learning are expected for transformational learning, both should be considered when developing learning activities in the online environment. Successful training programs should not only encompass the necessary pedagogy and skills required for successful online teaching, but should also be presented in a manner that will facilitate the construction of meaning by the adult learner (Galbraith & Fouch; 2007; Kasworm, 2009; Knowles, 1990). Knowles (1975) found that adults are more centered toward student than toward the teacher. He suggested that, although they are inherently self-directed, they prefer to share with their fellow learners through the use of paired, team, and group activities (Knowles 1975). Ultimately, trainers should take into consideration not only what adult learners want to learn but what they need to learn when developing a training program (Cercone, 2008; Knowles, 1990). When material being presented is relevant to adult learners they will become engaged in the learning experience (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007). In addition to the pedagogical assumptions that are made in an effort to employ best practices while designing online programs, attention must be paid to satisfying the basic hierarchy of needs outlined by Maslow (Gulati, 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). When the basic needs of faculty or adult learner are met through online instruction, then faculty can

42

move toward the highest level of self-actualization, which allows them to be creative in their educational practices (Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). In contrast, when the requirements within the online environment create concern for the adult learner, feelings of self-actualization may be displaced by those of fear and lack of control (Gulati, 2008). Active learning and active participation are both essential parts of constructivist education (Gulati, 2008), and for adult learners in an online environment, active participation implies compulsory participation in online discussions. Although this practice may be beneficial for some learners, Gulati (2008) stated that for others the process defeats the principles of constructivism by assigning contingencies beyond the control of the learner. By externalizing learning in order to attempt to measure it, Gulati argued that the disciplinary power of the instructor, along with concerns over preserving individual privacy and safety, result in a lack of choice and an absence of trust on the part of adult learners. Although the value of communication through compulsory participation is seen as integral to the constructivist view, Gulati (2008) cautions that it is with the caveat that course developers consider concerns about trust, security, and control as they develop learning strategies. When developing training programs for adults, the instructor's purpose, or that of an instructional designer, is to support adult learners as they develop a collection of approaches that can be used and adapted to the learning situation (Ouellette, 2000). These program leaders should practice effective online pedagogy while working to (a) accommodate different learning styles, (b) foster active engagement from the learners, (c) promote critical thinking skills, and (d) support reflective interaction with other learners as well as the instructor (Duncan & Barnett, 2009).

43

Indicators of Faculty Satisfaction Statistics released from the Sloan Commission documented that "more than onethird of public university faculty have taught an online course while more than one-half have recommended an online course to students . . . " (Association of Public and Landgrant Universities-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning [Sloan-C], 2009, f 1). Data from faculty have indicated their collective approval of distance education, but it also highlighted several concerns including support services and faculty benefits where faculty ranked most points as needing approval (Sloan, 2009). They ranked the technology infrastructure average, while the lowest ranking was given to the incentives offered for design and facilitation of online courses (Sloan, 2009). The Sloan Commission (2002) recognized that, although these same observations and recommendations are not concerns for some campuses, some problems surrounding institutional organization and support provided to faculty are appearing as these programs are beginning to age. Causes determining how satisfied faculty are when working in distance education were studied by Bollinger and Wasilik (2009) where they identified student-related factors, those related to student performance; instructor-related factors, including the need for recognition as well as the expectation of access to adequate technology and tools; and institution-related factors. Their focus of concern centered on the vision, values, and policies in place at the institution to support the faculty (Bollinger & Wasilik, 2009). These issues continue to affect the level of satisfaction that is felt on the part of faculty members, especially the adjunct online faculty who do not share the tenure opportunities and other benefits that may be afforded to more traditional professors.

44

Bollinger and Wasilik (2009) determined a need for institutions to place an emphasis on maintaining faculty satisfaction, as they found that satisfaction affects faculty motivation as well as instructional quality. Sloan Consortium (2002) explained that, although strong faculty commitment to teaching is instrumental to the success of distance learning, the level of faculty commitment to their role is linked to both individual and professional fulfillment. This commitment is generated and maintained as faculty feel that they are being rewarded both on a personal and a professional level. They also look for institutional support before they feel confident in their role (Sloan, 2002). This level of satisfaction is enhanced when faculty feel supported in areas that include training for instructional skills as well as basic technical and administrative assistance. This review will look at current literature addressing faculty satisfaction in regard to any possible relationship it might have to the faculty member's learning style, his or her gender, and how the faculty member perceives the quality of their training experience in preparation to work in the online environment. Learning Style and Adult Learners Every individual learns with their own unique style (Knowles, 1990). All students have their own ways of absorbing and processing data, with some areas being preferred over others (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). A student's academic success can be strongly influenced by the balance between the student's learning style and the instructor's teaching style (Felder & Spurlin, 2005), and these individual learning preferences should be considered along with abilities, personalities, and prior knowledge when developing learning programs for students, even when the students are adult learners (Lefrancois,

45

2000). Although the notion of a preference for a particular style of learning is not universally accepted, the consideration of learning style differences and the resulting effects on student behavior and performance have been widely addressed in the literature (Cercone, 2008; Duncan & Barnett, 2009; Felder and Brent, 2005; Felder & Spurlin, 2005; Gulati, 2008; Knowles, 1990; Kolb, 1984; Ng et al., 2008; Saleh, 1998; Yang & Liu, 2007; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007; Zull, 2006). For adult learners, as with all students, preferred learning styles have been considered when developing learning activities, as a preferred learning style has been shown to determine how an individual will approach a learning task (Cercone, 2008). Kozub (2010) described the influence of an individual's learning style as a predisposition toward how new information is acquired and processed. While a style designation may suggest behavioral tendencies, a learning preference does not reliably gauge learning ability of a student (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Physiologically, preference for a particular learning style results from brain specialization (Zull, 2006), and this process explains how individuals are predisposed to react differently to various learning experiences (Knowles, 1990; Saleh, 1998; Zull, 2006). The brain physically changes as learning occurs when both understanding and associations change and grow in the portions of the brain that are used (Knowles, 1990; Saleh, 1998; Zull, 2006). This preferred way of thinking or preferred learning style is determined by characteristics representative of the dominant quadrant of the brain (Knowles, 1990). Kolb (1984) identified two required processes for learning to take place: one he labeled prehending, which refers to how a learner takes in information, and

46

the other he labeled transforming, which pertains to how learners take that information and change it into knowledge. Zull (2006) identified gathering, reflection, creating, and testing as fundamental pillars of learning and explained that, although gathering data is essential for learning, the act of gathering or sensing alone does not immediately lead to understanding. Sensing, as a process, utilizes all of one's sensesvision, hearing, touch, smell, and feelingand creates emotional responses, where reflection takes bits of data and forms them into meaningful associations (Zull, 2006). Learning, Zull (2006) explained, is generated when those associations become the basis for conscious thought, and this manipulation of associations leads to a deep understanding which can be tested to see how the understanding that has been created compares to reality. This physiological cycle occurs every time that learning occurs, but the cycle's strength is determined by the emotional level of the learner (Zull, 2006). Unfortunately for many adult learners, this learning process slows down with age, and adult learners adapt by developing their own meaning to new experiences (Zull, 2006). Adult learners take new experiences and reframe them until they integrate with their pre-existing ideas. As experiential learning is an active process, and adult learners are active participants in the educational progression for learning to occur, experiential learning can be considered a powerful technique for training adults (Cercone, 2008; Knowles, 1990; Yang & Liu, 2007). While reflection, interaction, collaboration, and critical thinking processes aid adults in knowledge construction, each is also instrumental for increasing and supporting learning by encouraging the use of various learning styles (Cercone, 2008; Duncan & Barnett, 2009; Gulati, 2008).

47

Similar processes are described by Kolb (1984) and included in his classification of learning styles, where Kolb described learning as a fluid process, and that it is experiential. Kolb's model described how learners have " . . . a preference for concrete experience or abstract conceptualization (how they take information in) and active experimentation or reflective observation (how they process information)" (Felder & Brent, 2005, p. 59), and that learning, generated from experience, can begin at any point in that cycle. Zull's (2006) four pillars of learninggathering, reflection, creating, and testingalso based on experiential learning, correspond to Kolb's learning cycle preferences. Felder and Brent (2005) defined learning styles as "characteristic cognitive, affective, and psychological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment" (p. 58). How intently a student is engaged in a learning activity may also be explained by other reasons such as student motivation, student interest in the subject, or simply how the student responds to the teaching style of the instructor. Consequently, the individual learning preference of the student is considered to be within the domain of diversity in education and, as such, affects how the student will perform individually or when acting as part of a work group or team (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Studies are limited that explore how learning styles and course effectiveness differ in online versus traditional face-to-face instruction. One study, structured by Liu (2007) to investigate how these students used different learning styles, utilized 19 online and 25 face-to-face graduate students. The researcher facilitated both courses, and the instructional content, objectives, and assignments were identical for all students.

48

Although no noteworthy dissimilarities were discovered among these groups when the study started, significant differences were identified in mean results in regard to learning styles, where the posttest results indicated that the online students preferred collaboration with their peers, rivalry among themselves, as well as instructor communication (Liu, 2007). This change in learning style during the course supports the need to design alternative curriculum and adapt instructional strategies to fulfill the learner's requirements (Liu, 2007). Advocates of learning styles approaches argue that in order to truly individualize instruction it is necessary to develop a profile of each learner detailing their strengths and weaknesses (Lefrancois, 2000). For practical reasons, truly individualizing instruction is impractical or impossible in a structured classroom situation, but lack of some individualization of instruction has been found to result in an inefficient and ineffective use of educational resources (Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Although students ultimately need to develop skills that reflect each learning style dimension, designing instruction that addresses their preferred learning style will help them learn effectively as they develop new skills (Felder & Spurlin, 2005; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Romanelli et al. (2009) warned, however, that faculty should use caution when designing courses to avoid providing a collection of teaching approaches that is neither carefully conceived nor delivered. Learning Style and Adjunct Faculty as Adult Learners The rapid growth of online courses has obliged researchers to consider how well the structure of these online courses is meeting the needs of all adult learners, even when the adult learner is also adjunct online faculty. Although researchers differ on their

49

conviction of the impact of learning styles on student achievement, some found that online learning can be improved when considering a student's learning style during course development (Terrell, 2005; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Where some found no significant impact from the consideration of preferred learning style (Ng et al., 2008), most saw course usefulness linked to the instructors understanding about the importance of recognizing the learning style differences that would be represented in their classes (Terrell, 2005; Ng et al., 2008; Romanelli et al., 2009; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Romanelli et al. (2009) stated that today's adult student comes to college from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds, with varied educational foundations, and with differing learning styles. Terrell (2005) found that these students are also choosing an asynchronous approach to their coursework, which leads to a higher rate of attrition when the learning needs and styles of these students are not being met. This difference in experience, coupled with familiarity with the varied kinds of instructional material utilized to disseminate information, has convinced many educators to consider the importance of allowing for the student's learning style in the development of their courses (Romanelli et al., 2009). The debate that exists over individual learning styles extends to the arena of course design and development. Recent literature acknowledges that the instructional design of most courses needs to be improved or updated to incorporate new technological capabilities (Kozub, 2010; Romanelli et al., 2009; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Multimedia learning technology has greatly increased the options that are available to faculty engaged in course development (Kozub, 2010). With these technological innovations has come the ability to vary the learning environment offered through web-

50

based instruction and to adjust to individual learning styles through the course design. Those who agree that individuals are predisposed to learn in a certain way find that the technology allows them to more easily address the needs of more students, where those who do not see this differentiation of instruction as beneficial may not seize that opportunity. Instructors who consider the learning style preferences of their students are better able to design effective instruction by utilizing a teaching method to meet learners' needs (Felder & Spurlin, 2005; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). Ng et al. (2008) stated that it is important to consider preferred learning style during course development to ensure that the course does not provide an advantage or a disadvantage to any one learning style. This opinion was tested through the redevelopment of an existing business statistics course, taking care to design it so that it would enable learning for students with all learning preferences. After taking a learner-centered approach, incorporating multiple teaching styles, and changing the focus of the course away from computation and more toward interpretation, the researchers evaluated the success of the course by evaluating the student scores. Students completed Felder & Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles (ILS) to identify their individual preferred learning style, and the results indicated that learning preference was not meaningful when related to a student's course grade, which added evidence that the redesigned class was not providing an unfair advantage to those preferring a specific learning style (Ng et al., 2008). Learning style preferences are not only a consideration for the adjunct faculty when they are students but also considered in relation to the faculty's preferred teaching style (Ouellette, 2000; Romanelli et al., 2009). For that reason, adjunct online faculty

51

should be aware of not only the preferred styles of their students, but they should be cognizant that their own preferred learning and teaching style are factors in the classroom. Ouellette (2000) conducted a study to determine whether learning style could be considered a determiner of learner performance. Learning style was defined as differences between people and was characterized as the individual qualities and behaviors that can be used to explain individuality among people. In an effort to explore the idea that faculty choose instructional strategies that favor their own learning styles Ouellette studied 369 students and instructors at the University of Maryland. Using the Gregorc Style delineator, Felder's (1991) Index of Learning Style, and the Long/Dziuban Learning Style Inventory, he found that college-age students present a variety of learning preferences and reasoning systems. The Gregorc Style delineator and the Index of Learning Style (Felder & Soloman, 1991) analyze learning styles in terms of how an individual processes information, where Long's inventory categorizes styles into determinants of behavior (Ouellette, 2000). What was learned from Ouellette (2000) was that a typical class will present a range of learning styles, and that an instructor must incorporate many different instructional methods into classroom training as they attempt to address the requirements of all learners. Zapalska and Brozik (2007) stated that by utilizing a questionnaire that lends itself to being administered through an online platform, and in an effort to discover the learning preferences of those who participate in distance education courses, instructors can identify variances in learning preferences which enables them to adjust their instructional approaches and methods to meet their students' requirements, even within the framework of the online environment. Incorporation of learning styles and

52

methods into faculty training programs can help faculty develop instructional activities that recognize these differences in the classroom (Saleh, 1997). Learning Style and Gender Attendance in institutions that offered degree programs grew between 1997 and 2007 by 34% for full-time students and by 15% for those attending part-time. Of those students, the number of females rose 29% while the number of males increased 22% (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2009). The literature shows that for adult learners, much as for younger students, learning styles and gender should always be considered when determining how to improve the likelihood of success for the individual (Garland & Martin, 2005; Saleh, 1997). Studies have shown that women prefer concrete learning styles, where men prefer those that are more abstract (Kolb, 1984). Even though research has shown that online success has characteristically been dependent on course design as well as learner characteristics, student diversity should also be a primary concern when engaging in course development for all learners (Felder & Brent, 2005). When considering adult learners by gender, the physiological and psychological needs that adults have should also be considered. Physiologically, the influence of gender on learning style was addressed by Saleh (1997) through a study designed to examine the relationships between brain-hemispheric dominance, character styles, learning preferences, learning methods, gender, along with the cultural background of post-secondary students. Using self-report instruments which were deemed as reasonably valid and considered reliable methods for gauging the variables of learning styles, learning strategies, personality types, and brain hemisphericity, Saleh found significant gender differences when studying brain-hemispheric dominance in college-age students.

53

In this study, females were more feeling-oriented than males, where males were more thinking-oriented than females. Saleh concluded that understanding a student's learning style enables educators to develop new instructional methods to accommodate these styles. Finding significant differences in learning style strategies by gender, Saleh suggested that educators should consider students' learning styles and develop instructional activities that recognize these differences in the classroom. As is true in a physical classroom setting, personal safety and a feeling of security are needed in the virtual classroom. When considering psychological needs, Burge (as cited in Garland & Martin, 2005) expressed concern that the psychological safety of many female learners could not be met when coursework required discussion board type responses. Likewise, the virtual classroom for some women was more comfortable than to be physically sitting in a classroom filled with significantly younger students. In this manner, gender preferences become an area of concern for online program developers. In Garland and Martin's (2005) study, which combined online learning, learning style, and gender as variables, the primary interest was in whether gender affected any relationships between learning style and the level of attentiveness of an online student. Utilizing a population of 168 students, 102 female and 66 male, all chosen through a nonprobability sample and enrolled in one of seven upper-division or graduate courses, data were collected on learning styles using the Kolb Learning Style Inventory and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory 3. The questions were identical but one was a paper copy where the other was administered online. Preference for the abstract conceptualization mode of learning was correlated to determine how often the learner opened the communication part of Blackboard. No

54

significant correlations between gender and level of engagement were evidenced for the female students. However, there was a significant correlation for male students. This study supported previous research indicating variances between learning preferences of learners in traditional direct instruction classes as compared to those enrolled in online classes (Garland & Martin, 2005). This finding is also backed up by Lu and Chiou (2010) who determined that males were significantly more satisfied with the e-learning system of instruction than females. Gender differences can be important differentiators between learners, and learners will usually choose learning strategies that are congruent with their learning style. Ouellette (2000), when studying students and instructors at the University of Maryland University College, utilized the Gregorc Style Delineator and in their psychological tests found more "female that were abstract random than male in that category and more male that were abstract sequential" (p. 7). When utilizing Felder and Soloman's (1991) Inventory of Learning Styles for determining learning styles, 62% of the participating males were visual where 82% of the females were visual. When utilizing the VARK questionnaire to identify the learning preferences of learners participating in online classes, Zapalska and Brozik (2007) established that there was a lack of gender differences among the students' learning styles. Wehrwein, Luhan, and EiCarlo's (2006) studied undergraduate physiology students to measure differences in gender and preferences for learning style. Also using the VARK questionnaire with undergraduate students, their responses indicated their preferences when receiving information as either ". .. (V) visual, (A) aural, (R) read-write, or (K) kinesthetic . . . " (p. 153) mode. Outcomes suggested a preference of females for unimodal presentations

55

where males favored multimodal information presentations, and that, even though female students are able to utilize all sensory styles as they learn, they usually have a preference for one style which is the one that they will use most often (Wehrwein et al., 2006). It is the challenge of the trainer to use many different instructional methods in an effort to meet the needs of all students (Kolb, 1984; Saleh (1997; Wehrwein et al., 2006). Satisfaction and Learning Style When students learning styles are incompatible with the instructor's teaching style, the students have been found to exhibit behaviors indicative of boredom. Many will become discouraged, and others may ultimately drop out of school (Felder & Brent, 2005; Felder & Spurlin, 2005; Romanelli et al., 2009). Conversely, when the teaching style of the instructor is closely matched to the students' learning styles, students do not always develop critical skills needed for their less preferred styles (Felder and Spurlin, 2005; Romanelli et al., 2009). Considering preferred learning styles when developing online training programs was offered by Saleh (1997) as a way to help faculty identify their own strengths and limitations, help them evaluate their students' learning preferences, and ensure that instructional activities are incorporated into the learning environment that take those differences into consideration. Although the mode of presentation may affect a student's appreciation and enjoyment for an online class, Kozub (2010) found that no particular learning style was advantageous for learners in the web-based environment, even when this environment provided opportunities for interacting with the course material. Kozub stated that learners may develop learning strategies that allow them to successfully learn in environments that are not matched to their particular learning style preference. This

56

ability to adapt to the learning environment supports the belief that the learning preference concept cannot assume to be related to a learner's cognitive ability (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Duncan and Barnett (2009), when studying the experiences of student educators sharing in an online course designed to teach about online teaching, identified the requirements for a successful teaching and learning experience. These included social presence, which is considered a prerequisite for building a sense of community by promoting and supporting open communication and interaction; cognitive presence, which frames an educational environment and includes the processes of interaction and reflection; and teaching presence, which encourages the engagement of students through use of collaboration and discussion (Duncan & Barnett, 2009; Gulati, 2008). This study reinforces the necessity to emphasize experiential learning throughout the training process by providing opportunity for constructivist learning through the use of reflection, interaction, collaboration, and critical thinking (Cercone, 2008; Duncan & Barnett, 2009; Gulati, 2008). While these processes are paramount for constructing knowledge through collaboration between participants in the learning process, they also support learning by encouraging the use of various learning styles. Being aware of student-preferred learning styles is critical for instructors if they are to provide differentiated instruction for students. Since the tendency in traditional education is to teach all learners using the same strategies, usually in a lecture presentation (Mitchell, 2009), this information is valuable for those who are training faculty to teach online, adult learners in this case, in order to keep them engaged, improve learning, and, as a result, increase satisfaction levels associated with the training.

57

Learning preferences can also serve as a valuable tool when assessing gender differences and preferences in regard to training methods. Satisfaction and Gender Much recent research has explored factors that determine satisfaction levels of faculty toward their online experience (Bollinger & Wasilik, 2009; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; Koenig, 2010; Lu & Chiou, 2010; Perreault et al., 2008). Although some researchers have used demographic data to frame these studies, none known to this researcher have sought to focus on whether gender is a significant factor in determining faculty satisfaction levels. Faculty satisfaction as it relates to gender will become increasingly more important in the coming years if current trends in postsecondary enrollment continue. Women as well as minorities are projected to increase their standing within their academic communities as senior faculty retire and are replaced (Sabharwal & Corley, 2009). Although there is little literature available addressing faculty satisfaction, historically, previous research has discovered that males are more satisfied with their jobs in academic than women, primarily in the areas of benefits and salary (Sabharwal & Corley, 2009). Bender and Haywood (2006) found that higher levels of education in males result in lower job approval, where female scientists reported lower job satisfaction in academic environments than males. The opposite was true in a business environment, where females were more satisfied than males. In an effort to research current trends in satisfaction, Sabharwal and Corley (2009) used a filtering process to reach a total of 223,424 participating full-time academic scientists which they used to evaluate different areas of occupation satisfaction. Even

58

though the researchers had hypothesized that satisfaction levels would be lower for the females, they found that, in the sciences and in medicine, men maintained lower levels of satisfaction than females. They speculated that differences in emphasis on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivating factors had an effect as women placed more importance on intrinsic ideals such as achievement (Sabharwal & Corley, 2009). Although Ward and Sloane (as cited in Sabharwal & Corley, 2009) found no noteworthy differences amid genders in relation to employment satisfaction, across all disciplines Sabharwal and Corley found females to be less satisfied than their male counterparts. Satisfaction and Training Due to their real-world experiences, and paired with their willingness to teach, adjunct online professors bring a wealth of information and opportunity to the academic environment (Biro, 2005; Gaillard-Kenney, 2006; Milliken & Jurgens, 2008). For many adjunct online faculty, especially those entering the online environment initially, preliminary training received prior to teaching their first course as well as ongoing professional development opportunities will determine whether they will be successful. For these faculty members, expectations regarding the initial training experience will either be fulfilled or will leave the professor with feelings of dissatisfaction. Extensive preparation is required prior to teaching an online course (Bocchi, Eastman, & Swift, 2004), and without a comprehensive formal training program distance educators may not be successful (Biro, 2005). Formal training programs lead to successful teaching practices (Wolf, 2006), and the training program offered to faculty members prior to teaching the first online course is many times their first introduction to the challenges of the online environment. Although the hiring of adjunct faculty does

59

minimize human resources overhead for many institutions by alleviating faculty shortages, many times these adjuncts feel that they are not being professionally supported to their satisfaction (Milliken & Jurgens, 2008). Current literature examining faculty transitions from traditional classroom instruction to the first-time experience teaching in an online environment indicates concern regarding the scope of training provided to first-time online instructors as well as the satisfaction levels of that faculty toward their training (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Grant & Thornton 2007; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008; Regino, 2009). Most researchers agree about the importance of keeping faculty satisfied with the opportunities available to them. There has been, however, as absence of agreement regarding appropriate training methods. Many training experiences are directly related to university support services, institution-specific policies and procedures, and course management system training (Blodgett, 2008). These orientation programs are designed to familiarize adjunct faculty with both the institution's policies and procedures and the professional opportunities available to them. Although they do provide initial support, alone these are not sufficient to ensure that adjunct faculty remain satisfied and loyal (Gaillard-Kenney, 2006). In a study conducted to determine what participants perceived to be the advantages, disadvantages, and barriers of online instruction, Fish and Gill (2009) found that "training was an issue for both those who had taught online and those who had not" (p. 59). Specific training, delivered while utilizing the course management systems that would be used by the online faculty, is needed to ensure that technological issues do not become

60

barriers to instruction (Crews, Wilkinson, Hemby, McCannon, & Wiedmaier, 2008; Dempsey et al, 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Wolf, 2006). Technological difficulties and lack of access to adequate technology and tools have been shown to lower faculty satisfaction levels toward online teaching (Crews et al., 2008; Dempsey et al., 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Fish and Gill (2009) surveyed 87 faculty at one university regarding their comfort level toward training; student learning outcomes; delivery of academic tasks; and perceived advantages, disadvantages, and barriers pertaining to online instruction. They determined that, unless a faculty member is adequately trained prior to teaching in an online environment, their online experience will be a negative one, and they will be less likely to feel successful. Not currently included as part of most training programs is how to manage the workload demands of effective course design and development (Crews et al., 2008: Fish & Gill, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). Researchers agree that online instructors invest more time in the course development process than those instructors who teach face-toface (Crews et al., 2008; Dempsey et al., 2008; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). The resulting inequity between professional staff and the institutions has served to lower satisfaction levels among these online faculties. Faculty satisfaction results not only from initial training opportunities but from continuing professional development opportunities as well. Research has shown that some faculty have chosen to not take advantage of available training opportunities which, in many cases, leads to staff members who have taught themselves by trial-and-error (Perreault et al., 2008). This results in faculty who are not able to benefit from the

61

experiences of others. Perreault et al. (2008) found that the team-development approach between faculty members resulted in quality instruction. Milliken and Jurgens (2008) surveyed 58 adjunct faculty members regarding their perceived importance of various opportunities, services, and resources available to them. From their study, Milliken and Jurgens found that when training opportunities are provided for adjunct faculty, non-traditional faculty members are often unaware that training is available. This lack of communication can cause a faculty member to become dissatisfied with what he or she perceives to be the training and professional development opportunities available to them (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Fish & Gill, 2009; OomenEarly & Murphy, 2009). These researchers have shown that the comfort level of these faculty members toward online teaching is influenced through the quality of training received along with the continued support offered by their institutions. Grant and Thornton (2007), when identifying techniques of addressing adultcentered distance education environments, saw a need for " . . . faculty development programs that meet the needs of all online instructors and simultaneously match institutional goals . . . " (p. 353). They felt that when providing these desired opportunities, institutions not only increase the skills of the faculty but increase their feeling of worth and belonging within the academic environment. This particular study found that satisfying adjunct faculty desire to become more involved in the university would increase their value within the academic community. As the success and continued growth of distance training programs depends on faculty commitment and their readiness to design and facilitate distance education programs (Biro, 2005; Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009), more must be done to understand faculty development and satisfaction.

62

The results ought to be of particular importance to academic administrators along with, more specifically, instructional designers who are developing training programs ongoing professional development opportunities. Summary The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that education and training occupations are projected to increase in employment 14.4% between the years of 2008 and 2018 (Lacey & Wright, 2009). More specifically, employment for postsecondary teachers is projected to increase 15.1% by 2018 (Lacey & Wright, 2009). If only for these reasons the need to study the factors that lead to faculty satisfaction for adjunct online professors continues to be in the forefront. The projected increases will only be larger if educational institutions are not able to successfully train and retain their online faculty. Betts and Sikorski (2008) detailed the costs of recruiting and training adjunct faculty for online programs as well as the added cost of replacing faculty who are lost through attrition after training due to their low satisfaction levels. Considering not only the direct and indirect costs associated with hiring and benefits, training and support, Betts and Sikorski also considered the opportunity costs that would result from loss of students and the ripple effect that would spread to students, faculty, and the overall reputation of the school. The purpose for this exercise, and their recommendation to other administrators that they prepare a similar evaluation, is directly related to the need for strategies to increase faculty satisfaction and retention. Developing fresh teaching methods, maintaining vigorous mentoring programs, increasing technical support structures for faculty, and creating university policies that openly address distance education are only a few of the suggestions that Betts and

63

Sikorski (2008) offered as areas that should be considered by universities, if not already in place, or monitored closely if they are established. All of these suggestions specifically address the priority for strengthening the training process for adjunct online faculty. These desired training opportunities increase the feeling of worth and belonging within the academic environment, increase the skills of the faculty and, ultimately, increase the quality of the online program. Orientation programs, designed to familiarize adjuncts with both the institution's policies and procedures and professional opportunities available to them as well, have been found to promote faculty satisfaction, but without continuing opportunities for professional development, faculty lacked needed training and still maintained a feeling of separation from the university community (Gaillard-Kenney, 2006). Biro (2005) found that challenges for program managers who are hiring adjunct professors included ensuring quality control for the courses themselves while managing their personnel. Satisfying adjunct faculty desire to become more involved in the university was found to increase their value within the academic community (Biro, 2005). Ensuring fair treatment, sound training, and reliable support for adjuncts improves the institution's ability to ensure quality online programs and retain satisfied employees. Every unique individual has a different learning style (Knowles, 1990), and when attempting to tailor programs to meet each individual's needs, program developers should consider the uniqueness of the individual learner's experiences so that the training experience is meaningful for all. Although several theories address various aspects of the adult learning process, there is not any single theory that can adequately explain the way in which adults create meaning (Cercone, 2008). What has been learned is that as unique

64

individuals, adult learners are influenced by their level of experience, that the process of learning rather than the content should be emphasized, and that adult learning is always about change (Cercone, 2008). Training programs that capitalize on the specialization of the thinking process within individuals work to the advantage of adult learners. Adult learning theory begins with a basic understanding of what stimulates adult learning (Galbraith & Fouch, 2007). By applying the tenets of adult learning theory when designing both initial training programs and ongoing faculty development offerings, instructors can work to ensure that the instruction supports adjunct faculty in their role as adult learners (Biro, 2005). The primary consideration for administrators and trainers working to meet the needs of adult learners is how best to support adult learners as they apply the skills developed through the learning process. By serving as a change agent rather than a lecturer, instructors will help all adult learners transform experiences into learning (Cercone, 2008). With the wealth of knowledge available regarding the factors that create faculty satisfaction in a distance education environment, what has not been adequately covered in the existing literature is the influence of gender on satisfaction levels of adjunct online faculty. Greenburg (2009), when researching online learning and its influence on learning styles of college students, found that education, gender, or ethnicity had no influence on adults' preferred learning style. As no current research studies were found that specifically examine relationships between gender and satisfaction in adult faculty within the online environment, it is expected that these results will contribute to the body of information in that area.

65

Adjunct online faculty training must encompass strategies applicable to all facets of the course preparation process in addition to addressing university policies and procedures. Faculty are rarely included in the discussion, planning, and implementation of their training experience. This is a disadvantage for them and to the institution as it jeopardizes the quality of the online courses being delivered and lowers the feeling of satisfaction felt toward the program (Biro, 2005). Also at issue is the availability of technical support during the course development process. Adjunct professors benefit from professional development sessions throughout their careers to keep them updated on the changes in technology (Gaillard-Kenney, 2006). As creation, application, and preservation of distance education classes and training programs are costly, course design, development, training, and retention issues all create concern for administrators as they consider whether initial training experiences are being perceived as satisfactory by the new adjunct online instructor. As faculty work to acquire new technology skills and new learning strategies, program developers must generate critical-thinking opportunities for them to utilize these skills. Lacking in the literature is compelling research data exploring satisfaction from students and/or faculty who are affiliated with distance education programs at institutions that provide opportunities for and support various training options and course development approaches, as compared to satisfaction of students and/or faculty affiliated with programs that do not support those options. This area of faculty satisfaction toward training as a determiner of faculty success has been effectively overlooked by researchers.

66

When considering the identified factors that determine faculty satisfaction levels, administrators recognize that committed faculty, who are working to develop and deliver online courses, are needed for successful online programs (Fish & Gill, 2009). Although the focus of this literature review is to present current thought about factors that contribute to faculty satisfaction toward initial training programs, administrators tasked with retaining their trained faculty will also need to be diligently providing ongoing faculty support opportunities that enhance that level of satisfaction. This current study posits that when developing training programs for adults, the primary focus for the trainer is assisting students while utilizing various methods of instruction for a dual purpose. First, trainers work with faculty as adult learners to assist them as they develop a range of approaches which can be used and adapted to the online learning situation and second, they work to ensure that faculty is content with curriculum and the method of delivery of their training opportunities. Successful development and delivery of formalized training programs that lead to high levels of faculty satisfaction will aid educational institutions in efforts directed toward faculty and student retention.

67

Chapter 3: Research Method A dramatic increase in distance education programs has created the need to consider documented concerns of adjunct online faculty members (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). These studies suggest how training programs for this new class of faculty should be designed if they are to be considered satisfactory and comprehensive. Of particular interest is whether the level of satisfaction felt by these faculty members toward training is affected by preferred learning style, gender, or either the content or method of training they receive. The research question guiding this study was whether training programs currently utilized for beginning adjunct online faculty members were perceived to be satisfactory by those faculties. This study contributes to the empirical evidence considering the integration of adult learning theory into the development of instructional programs for adjunct online faculty. The quantitative, non-experimental, correlational design was used to answer the research questions proposed by this study. Surveys were offered to adjunct online faculty affiliated with DETC accredited schools which addressed the research questions regarding the impact of training program characteristics on faculty satisfaction toward that training. This study explored potential relationships between the factors of learning preference, gender, and training methods and how they relate to faculty satisfaction toward the training experience. Adult learning theories propose that adults are self-directed learners (Knowles, 1975; Mezirow, 2000), and adjunct online faculty members involved in a training program should be considered adult learners. Recent studies have identified indicators of faculty satisfaction that directly relate to either the method of delivery for training or how

68

thorough an online training process is (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Regino, 2009; Wolf, 2006). For training to be beneficial and satisfying there was interest in whether adult learning theory should be considered by course developers as they choose appropriate learning strategies. A number of studies recommending best practices for training program development indicated that developers may overlook the need to consider characteristics of adult learners, such as gender and learning style, as these programs are being developed (Biro, 2005; Fish & Gill, 2009). Although researchers have studied how gender and learning styles affect satisfaction and academic success of adult students (Saleh, 1997; Witowski, 2008), this connection had not been explored in regard to the satisfaction levels and, ultimately, the retention of adjunct online faculty. The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to increase the present literature on teaching methods and adult learning theory by evaluating significant relationships between preferred learning styles, gender, and the components of an individual training program. Of interest was how these variables affect the level of satisfaction felt by an adjunct online faculty toward his or her training experience. In this chapter, a description and rationale for the research design, research instruments, and methods of data analyses are provided. This chapter also details validity and reliability of the survey instruments as well as the process of receiving permission to conduct the study. Finally, this chapter concludes with ethical considerations. The research questions stated for this study were designed to identify and evaluate significant relationships between the independent variables and constructs, including preferred learning style, gender, and training, and the dependent variables of satisfaction toward the training method, the scope of training, and the overall training program

69

offered in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Hypotheses were tested using data received from non-experimental, Web-based surveys. The null hypotheses indicated the expectation for a non-significant relationship between the variables, where the alternative hypotheses indicated that a significant relationship exists. The hypotheses were aligned with the research questions. The following research questions guided this study. Ql. What, if any, is the relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment? Hlo. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Hla. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following Independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online

70

Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Q2. What, if any, is the relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment? H2o. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following Independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H2a. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment.

71

Q3.

What, if any, is the relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment?

H3o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H3a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Q4. What, if any, is the relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment? H4o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H4a. Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment.

72

Q5.

Which has a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience-methods of training or preferred learning styles?

H5o.

There is no statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training.

H5a.

There is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training.

Research Methods and Design This study was guided by a quantitative, non-experimental research design in an effort to understand relationships between the independent variables of preferred learning style, gender, the scope or content of training, and the method of delivery of a formalized training program. Of interest was how these independent variables might affect the dependent variables of satisfaction toward the scope of training, satisfaction toward the method of training, and the level of satisfaction felt by adjunct online faculty toward his or her overall training experience. A quantitative method was appropriate for this study as it promotes a more impartial, unbiased measurement of the data. Where qualitative or mixed-methods studies seek to interpret the meaning of the data, a quantitative format allowed the researcher to more closely measure relationships between the dependent

73

variable, in this case faculty satisfaction, and the independent variables of interest (Black, 2005). 1. This quantitative study utilized a non-experimental correlational design, where one sample group was observed with the intent to examine relationships between pairs of traits, and to determine the type, either positive or negative, and degree, or strength, of the relationship (Black, 2005). This study can also be considered an ex post facto design, as an effort was made to control, through identification, potentially extraneous variables that have already occurred (Black, 2005). 2. Data for the study were obtained by utilizing two Web-based surveys. This type of survey was preferred for its ease of use and its ability to capture degrees of satisfaction felt by the participants (Black, 2005). As the data were collected at one time, this cross-sectional survey provides information about current attitudes and styles. Analysis includes descriptive statistics pertaining to the Online Faculty Training Survey, the ELS, and gender in the form of frequency tables and graphs. Measures of central tendency were calculated for the ILS subscales and the components of training. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent sample Mests were conducted to measure the nominal and interval variables (Black, 2005). 3. Although recommendations were drawn from the results of the analysis, a correlational study was appropriate for this investigation as the research questions were not designed to explore causal relationships (Black, 2005).

74

Participants Stratified random sampling was used to select sample participants recruited from the target population which included adjunct online faculty either full- or part-time, who had taught a distance education course and who had participated in faculty training in preparation for teaching distance education courses. Stratified random sampling is used when identifiable groups homogeneous for the desired characteristics are known (Black, 2005). The population for this study was currently teaching online for private, for-profit institutions nationally accredited only through the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). In an effort to control for administrative expectations and add validity to the study, only schools which were similarly accredited and working under the same guidelines for quality were selected for the sample. Choosing schools with similar requirements for their training practices provided more reliable results, which could then be generalized to the total population. Criteria for participation specified that each college or university must be a for-profit, 4-year, degree-granting institution with an established distance education program and with each being accredited only through DETC. After notifying the Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission of DETC, each qualifying, degree-granting college was approached either by phone or email and provided with the following: (a) the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the study, (b) a letter of introduction which also explained the study procedures and the appropriate informed consent as required by the IRB, (c) exact contact information, and (d) information about the study. This document provided information about the study

75

along with providing instructions explaining how to access and complete the Web-based surveys. With institution approval these documents were then forwarded, either by the schools or by the researcher if provided a mailing list, to adjunct online faculty within each department. These were accompanied with a cover letter from the college or university, if they chose, inviting faculty participation. At the time of the study, DETC accredited approximately 20 institutions that met the established criteria for participation. To ensure that this project was generalizable, participants were sought from a minimum of four degree-granting institutions, each in a different geographical region of the country. Even though online educators are not usually seen as being defined by geographical boundaries, selecting schools across regions would include a broader range of faculty characteristics. As four schools was a minimum, upon approval for this project, the specific number of schools needed to provide access to a sufficient sample of participants was finalized based on the number of adjunct online professors currently under contract for schools that meet the desired criteria. This was a multistage procedure since the participants were derived from the institutions selected geographically, and a random sample was selected from identifiable subgroups (Black, 2005). As this was a stratified sampling of the population, the researcher could ensure that specific groups were represented by selecting from the strata list (Black, 2005). This control minimized the effect of confounding variables on the outcomes of the study (Black, 2005). An appropriate sample was sought to ensure that the results represented the population as a whole, and from which statistically significant conclusions could be

76

drawn. A power analysis determined the optimum sample size to ensure that the data collection procedures would be appropriate for achieving results that are generalizable to the entire population. In an effort to avoid making either a Type I or Type II error in statistical analysis, an a priori analysis was done specifying a standard power of 80%, an alpha level of 0.05, and a moderate effect size. The Means: Difference between two independent means (two groups), two-tailed f-test (alpha = 0.05, power = .80, moderate effect size = .5) gave an a priori sample size = 128. The F-test for ANOVAS: ANOVA: Fixed effects, omnibus, one-way (alpha = 0.05, power = .80, moderate effect size = .25, 3 groups) gave an a priori sample size = 159. This analysis determined that an appropriate sample size for this study was 159 participants (G*Power, 2001). Materials/Instruments This correlational, non-experimental design evaluated data from a single group and explored possible relationships between pairs of variables. The goal was not to necessarily determine cause between the variables but to control the effect that one variable might have on the other (Black, 2005). Data were obtained by utilizing two Web-based surveys. Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ELS) was used to identify each participant's preferred learning style (Appendix C). The ILS focuses on four learning category pairsActive/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, and Sequential/Globaland which may point to particular areas of strength as well as areas of weaknesses in each category (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Zywno (2003) described the ILS subgroups as being dichotomous. As the opposing ends of any particular scale represent a learning preference that is the direct

77

opposite of the other end, scores indicate a preference for one mode of instruction rather than the other. For example, students who are determined to be active learners will create meaning from instruction when they are actively participating in the activities. Reflective learners, on the other end of that scale, in comparison, maintain a preference for private contemplation about the material. This dichotomy of preferences is mirrored by the Sensing/Intuitive, Verbal/Visual, and Sequential/Global subgroups. The ILS contains 44 questions which oblige the participant to select option A or B as a response (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Each option signifies a preference for a learning dimensions, measured with a score extending from -11 to +11 in increments of two (Litzinger et al., 2005). Even numbered scores are not possible. Upon completion, participants receive an analysis report consisting of scores on a scale of 1 to 11, odd numbers only, for particular dimension of each subgroups of the ILS. Individuals who score +1 to +3 are slightly partial, scores of +5 to +7 show moderate partiality, and scores of +9 to +11 indicate a stronger inclination for the indicated learning style (Litzinger et al., 2005). The other dimension of each subgroup uses the same categories spanning from-11 to -1. The ILS has been deemed both valid and a reliable tool for identifying learning styles (Litzinger et al., 2005). The ILS has both test-retest as well as internal consistency reliability (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, Zywno, 2003), where " . . . test-retest correlation coefficients for all four subscales of the instrument varied between 0.7 and 0.9 for an interval of four weeks between test administrations and between 0.5 and 0.8 for breaks of 7 and 8 months" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 110); both scenarios resulted in coefficients which were " . . . significant at the 0.05 level or better" (Felder & Spurlin, 2005, p. 110).

78

After reviewing four studies to evaluate the ILS's internal consistency reliability, where all cases had used 0.5 as the measure for suitability to establish reliability for the tool (Felder & Spurlin, 2005), the ILS was shown to have internal consistency reliability as an instrument for identifying an individual's learning preferences (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). Felder and Spurlin (2005) stated that construct validity is determined when this tool measures learning styles accurately. Evidence for construct validity of this tool was obtained by Litzinger et al. (2005) by assessing the relationship between the ILS measured style and what students' perceived their learning preferences to be. Factor analysis between two ILS forms resulted in similar results which indicated that both ILS forms measured equivalent concepts (Litzinger et al., 2005). Zywno (2003), when evaluating the tools' validity, found that time, different groups, and locations did not significantly alter the mean scores for the subgroups. Utilizing ANOVA statistics, Zywno (2003) discovered a lack of significance between the means of the different scales over time which supported the ILS's construct validity. The ILS was accessed and scored online. The resulting analysis was displayed as a report for the participant. As the results of this inventory were not available directly to the researcher, participants were requested to include these results as part of the demographic data questionnaire. The Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), also Web-based, was used to measure faculty satisfaction levels toward training (Appendix A). It also served to acquire demographic data including age, education level, and online teaching experience from the target population. The Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006) instrument was modified by the investigator, with permission from the developer (Appendix B),

79

from the original document which was utilized for the developer's doctoral dissertation, completed in 2006 through Nova Southeastern University. This 5-point Likert-type survey was also used for at least one other doctoral dissertation (Regino, 2009). Adaptation of the original document excluded all questions that were not of interest for this study and added questions seeking additional demographic information. The survey provided opportunity for faculty to submit the results of the Index to Learning Styles inventory and to offer opinions regarding their training needs and experience. Other than deletion of all qualitative questions and inclusion of additional demographic questions, no other changes were made to the original survey form. The survey questions retained for this study were those that were quantitative in nature and were determined necessary to address the research questions proposed in this study. The adapted Online Faculty Training Survey instrument contained 47 survey questions which assess the level of instructor preparation for online teaching. Skills addressed included specific platform instruction and prior self-preparation, and the participants' knowledge of pedagogical approaches needed before designing an online course (Frese, 2006). The breakdown of the questionnaire is as follows: Section A (15 questions) Background of Participants contains questions concerning the background of the sample participants to determine their teaching experience and the extent of training they have in the distance education environment. Gender identification is included as this was a primary variable for this study. The respondent's training format is important to determine if training satisfaction is affected by method of instruction which can be linked to learning style. Results of the Felder and Soloman (1991) ILS are reported here.

80

Participants recorded their responses online by selecting the appropriate category. Questions in this section either disqualified the participant from the sample population or classified the respondent into a distinctive subgroup according to gender, learning style preference, or training method. Section B (10 questions) Areas of Training Importance includes questions seeking the participant's attitudes toward important content needed for online faculty training. These questions were designed on a Likert scale. This section was included to generate thought about what should be incorporated into a comprehensive training program. Section C (10 questions) Quality of Personal Training seeks the participant's attitudes about the value of the participant's own training program. Feelings of accomplishment in any of these areas prior to receiving formalized training may affect a faculty member's perceived need for or satisfaction level toward training in that area. These questions were designed on a Likert scale and the total of all responses for this section was the calculated score. The total score for the set of questions indicated the participant's opinion regarding their own personal training. Section D (12 questions) Quality of Institution's Training seeks attitudes about the value of the training received by the particular institution. Responses here were evaluated in relation to responses in Section A. Gender, prior experience, or method of training instruction may all influence satisfaction levels with the training received. These questions were designed on a Likert scale and the total of all responses for this section was the calculated score. The total score for the

81

set of questions indicated the participant's opinion regarding their institution's training program. Validity is established when an instrument effectively represents the skills and subject matter being tested (Black, 2005). Frese (2006) administered the original survey document to online teachers as a portion of a qualitative study for the purpose of collecting data in order to create a faculty handbook which addressed those skills needed for online teaching. The original survey (Frese, 2006) was pretested to determine reliability and content validity through a pilot study. This panel included the following individuals, each accomplished in their particular area of expertise. The " . . . Associate Dean of Instruction for the Business Division at Fresno City College, California (FCC)..." (Frese, 2006, p. 61). This panel member held a doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a completed dissertation dealing with online learning, had been a part of online learning for over 5 years, and introduced students to online learning at FCC. This panel member brought online teaching experience coupled with the perspective of an administrator (Frese, 2006). The ". .. Coordinator of Academic Computing for FCC .. ." (Frese, 2006, p. 61), with eight years of online teaching experience in additional to coordinating workshops in technology for FCC faculty. An accomplished online course developer in various subjects, this individual provided instruction in the use of course management systems such as FrontPage and Blackboard. In addition to coordinating Summer Technology Institutes for FCC on the area of online teaching, this person served as the director having an online teaching specialization track. She was the " . . . lead instructor for the Monterey Institute

82

Summer Institute track for video and digital media. She has completed advanced coursework from UCLA in online teaching methodology and research" (Frese, 2006, p. 62). An ".. . Instructor in the Computer Information Technology Department at FCC . .." (Frese, 2006, p. 61), who had four years of online teaching experience. In addition to presenting workshops for faculty addressing online technology, this individual authored a book for students about online instruction (Frese, 2006). A " . . . Counselor and Department Chair of the Counseling Department at FCC .. ." (Frese, 2006, p. 61), whose credentials included five years of online teaching, and presentation of online instruction at conferences. She holds the Distance Credentialed Counselor designation which is a certification recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors for distance/online counseling" (Frese, 2006, p. 62). " . . . Oakhurst Center Coordinator for the State Center Community College District..." (Frese, 2006, p. 61), who, in addition to holding an administrative position for FCC, had eight years of online teaching experience, both at FCC and for the University of Phoenix. This individual held an MBA in Finance, and had more than 20 years as a business executive (Frese, 2006). This expert panel, which served as a resource for survey suggestions, content validation, and handbook validation, confirmed "no ambiguity of wording, that there was a standardized presentation, and that there was no vagueness in the response form" (Frese, 2006, p. 63). After revisions the survey was again tested with the pilot panel and

83

eight additional teachers with online experience. After the second test only minor adjustments were needed (Frese, 2006). This tool fulfilled the need for a valid instrument that measures what it is designed to measure as well as one that is reliable in its consistency (Black, 2005). Survey questions were kept for the insight each one provided about the participating individual, their opinions about training and experience, and how these opinions related to individual learning style and gender. Taking care to select participants who had participated in formalized training programs as first-time instructors in the online environment added internal validity to the results. Operational Definition of Variables This study was designed to be a cross-sectional, quantitative study operationalized as non-experimental, Web-based surveys which consisted of closed-type questions and were administered online to each participant. The following constructs were identified as either an independent, dependent, or mediating variable. Gender. Gender was an independent variable which was nominal and dichotomous. Gender was defined as 0 or 1 (0 = male, 1 = female). Data were obtained through the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Preferred Learning Style. Learning Style was an independent variable which was nominal and categorical. It was measured through Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS). The ILS focuses on four subscales: Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, and Sequential/Global (Felder & Soloman, 1991). The dimensions of the subscales are defined numerically within the range (-11 - +11). Participants included a score for each subscale: ACT/REF, SEN/TNT,

84

VIS/VRB, SEQ/GLO. Participants were instructed to complete the ILS inventory first, and then record their scores as part of the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Scope of Training. This independent variable was interval and continuous since the intervals between the ranks were assumed to be equal (Black, 2005). It was measured on a 5-point, Likert-type scale with a range of 1 to 5, (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). Data were defined as 1,2, 3, 4, or 5 and obtained from Section C of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). The score reflected an average of the total score for a set of ten questions measuring the participant's opinions about the quality of his or her training content. Method of Training. Common training methods on behalf of online instructors are either informal mentoring programs or formal training courses (Allen & Seaman, 2010). This independent variable was nominal and categorical, and was defined as 0, 1, 2, or 3. (0 = neither, 1 = informal mentoring program, 2 = formal training course, or 3 = both). Data were obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Faculty Satisfaction toward Training Scope. This dependent variable was interval and continuous since the intervals between the ranks were assumed to be equal (Black, 2005). It was measured on a continuous 5-point, Likert-type scale with a range of 1 to 5, (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). Data were defined as 1,2, 3, 4, or 5 and obtained as the mean score of Section C of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Collecting ordinal data for this variable increased both construct and statistical validity (Black, 2005).

85

Faculty Satisfaction toward Training Method. This dependent variable was interval and continuous since the intervals between the ranks were assumed to be equal (Black, 2005). It was measured on a continuous 5-point, Likert-type scale with a range of 1 to 5, (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). Data were defined as 1,2, 3,4, or 5 and obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Collecting ordinal data for this variable increased both construct and statistical validity (Black, 2005). Satisfaction With Overall Training Experience. This variable combined both Scope and Method of Training to form the construct of training satisfaction. This dependent variable was continuous and interval and was measured on a continuous 5point, Likert-type scale with a range of 1 to 5, (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). Data were defined as 1,2, 3, 4, or 5 and obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Collecting ordinal data for this variable increased both construct and statistical validity (Black, 2005). Age. This variable was an interval, continuous, mediating variable and was not a variable of interest in this study. Age was defined categorically as 0, 1, 2, or 3. (0 = 2035, 1 = 36-50, 2 = 51-65, or 3 = Over 65). Data were obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Age was identified and was addressed for the purpose of limiting its chance of confounding the results (Black, 2005). Being cognizant of the fact that a faculty member's age could be affecting male or female attitudes toward training, statistical analysis was performed to determine any impact that

86

age differences, as a potential mediating, or confounding, variable, might have on the data (Black, 2005). Teaching Experience in Years. Teaching experience was an interval, continuous, mediating variable which was not a variable of interest in this study. This variable was defined categorically as 0, 1, 2, or 3. (0 = Less than 5, 1 = 6 - 10, 2 = 1 1 20, or 3 = Over 20). Data were obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). It was identified and included in descriptive statistics for the purpose of limiting its chance of confounding the results (Black, 2005). Faculty Education Level. Education level was an interval, continuous, mediating variable which was not a variable of interest in this study. This variable will be defined categorically as 0, 1, or 2. (0 = Bachelor's Degree, 1 = Master's Degree, or 2 = Terminal Degree). Data were obtained from the demographic section of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). It was identified and included in descriptive statistics for the purpose of limiting its chance of confounding the results (Black, 2005). Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis For this study, data were collected through two Web-based surveys. An online version of Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles (ELS) was made available for participants to complete. This survey was automatically scored online, and the score was available for the participant. The result of the survey was provided by the participant as part of the Online Faculty Training Survey, which was administered to participants using a Web-based survey created through SurveyMonkey. The Online Faculty Training Survey instrument was designed around a weighted scale. Weighted scale responses add more exactness to measures of participant opinion

87

on a given topic because they provide information about how much difference there is among the structured responses. The rating scale presented the participants with a word, a phrase, or a statement, and asked them to indicate the extent to which the word, phrase, or statement was descriptive of their feelings. As might be expected in a qualitative or a mixed-methods procedure, this type of question was not asking for a participant to express agreement about a statement, but instead measured the degree of feeling between each response option. Interpretation of these particular scaled responses was based on prior research which indicated that strongly agree has a greater positive rank than does the response agree. Designed to measure a faculty member's attitudes toward his or her initial training experience and satisfaction, survey questions relating to training and satisfaction were rated based on a 5-point Likert scale. Survey questions pertained to instructor preparation for online teaching including specific platform instruction and prior selfpreparation, and they assessed a participant's knowledge of pedagogical approaches needed before designing an online course. Demographic statistics were collected using the Online Faculty Training Survey and correlated with the data collected that measured the levels of satisfaction felt by the faculty members toward training. This provided information useful in identifying trends within this population and was reported and summarized through frequency tables. Analysis of the survey data was completed using SPSS 19.0 for Windows. Descriptive statistics are presented that summarize and describe the data collected from the ILS Subscales and the Online Faculty Training Survey Sections. Demographic data were analyzed through frequency tables, descriptive statistical tables, charts, and graphs.

88

Pearson's correlation statistic was used to assess whether demographic variables, such as age, highest degree earned, and prior teaching experience, were significantly associated with the outcome variables. Means, standard deviation, and frequency are included for each of the dependent and independent variables (Black, 2005). Values are expressed as the mean + SD for continuous variables, or as number and percentage of the group from which they were derived for categorical variables. Allp values are two-tailed, and/? < 0.05 indicates statistical significance. Cronbach's alpha estimated the internal consistency of the subscales of the testing instruments (Black, 2005). Linear regression and ANOVA regression analysis were used to evaluate the strength of the relationship between the dependent variable, level of faculty satisfaction, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey, and the subscales of the ILS, signifying preferred learning style. Independent r-tests were used to evaluate the strength of the relationships between the dependent variable of satisfaction, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey, and the independent variable of gender. Hypotheses were tested using data received from the Web-based surveys. The null hypotheses indicated the expectation for non-significant relationships between the variables, where the alternative hypotheses indicated that significant relationships exist. The hypotheses were aligned with the research questions. Hlo. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global

89

Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. For each learning style subscale, participants were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative. For example, Active/Reflective scores were categorized as Active if participants scored from -11 to -5, neutral for scores of 3- to +3, and reflective for scores of +5 to +11. This categorical learning style variable was treated as having three dimensions. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect differences in mean faculty satisfaction toward training content among the learning style dimensions. If F-test significance exists, post-hoc pair-wise Mest comparisons were recommended and were conducted (Black, 2005). These tests create a greater probability of committing a Type I error by incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis by asserting variances as significant when they are not. To adjust for this higher probability of Type I error, Bonferroni was used to adjust for multiple comparisons to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005). Hla. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction

90

felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. For each learning style subscale, participants were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative. For example, Active/Reflective scores were categorized as Active if participants scored from -11 to -5, neutral for scores of 3- to +3, and reflective for scores of +5 to +11. This categorical learning style variable was treated as having three dimensions. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect differences in mean faculty satisfaction toward training content among the learning style dimensions. If F-test significance exists, post-hoc pair-wise Mest comparisons are recommended and will be conducted (Black, 2005). These tests create a greater probability of committing a Type I error by incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis by asserting variances as significant when they are not. To adjust for this higher probability of Type I error, Bonferroni was used to adjust for multiple comparisons to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005). H2o. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by

91

the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. For each learning style subscale, participants were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative. For example, Active/Reflective scores were categorized as Active if participants scored from -11 to -5, neutral for scores of 3- to +3, and reflective for scores of +5 to +11. This categorical learning style variable was treated as having three dimensions. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect differences in mean faculty satisfaction toward training content among the learning style dimensions. If F-test significance exists, post-hoc pair-wise f-test comparisons are recommended and will be conducted (Black, 2005). These tests create a greater probability of committing a Type I error by incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis by asserting variances as significant when they are not. To adjust for this higher probability of Type I error, Bonferroni was used to adjust for multiple comparisons to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005). H2a. Faculty preferred learning styles, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991) and identified by the following Independent variables: Active/Reflective Learner score, Sensing/Intuitive Learner score, Visual/Verbal Learner score, and Sequential/Global Learner score, are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for

92

teaching in the online environment. For each learning style subscale, participants were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative. For example, Active/Reflective scores were categorized as Active if participants scored from -11 to -5, neutral for scores of 3- to +3, and reflective for scores of +5 to +11. This categorical learning style variable was treated as having three dimensions. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect differences in mean faculty satisfaction toward training content among the learning style dimensions. If F-test significance exists, post-hoc pair-wise Mest comparisons are recommended and will be conducted (Black, 2005). These tests create a greater probability of committing a Type I error by incorrectly rejecting the null hypothesis by asserting variances as significant when they are not. To adjust for this higher probability of Type I error, Bonferroni was used to adjust for multiple comparisons to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005). H3o. Gender, observed as male and female, is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. An independent samples Mest was used to compare mean satisfaction scores between genders. The Levene's Test for Equality of Variances indicated whether the equal variances or unequal variances would be used in the calculation of the test statistic.

93

H3a.

Gender, observed as male and female, is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. An independent samples Mest was used to compare mean satisfaction scores between genders. The Levene's Test for Equality of Variances indicated whether the equal variances or unequal variances would be used in the calculation of the test statistic.

H4o. Gender is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. An independent samples Mest was used to compare mean satisfaction scores between genders. The Levene's Test for Equality of Variances indicated whether the equal variances or unequal variances would be used in the calculation of the test statistic. H4a. Gender is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. An independent samples Mest was used to compare mean satisfaction scores between genders. The Levene's Test for Equality of Variances indicated whether the equal variances or unequal variances would be used in the calculation of the test statistic.

94

H5o.

There is no statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect significant differences in the mean satisfaction scores between training method and among positive, negative, and neutral learning style categories and training method. When F-test significance existed, the Bonferroni procedure was used to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005).

H5a. There is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format, as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006), or preferred learning style, as measured by the Inventory of Learning Styles (Felder & Soloman, 1991), on satisfaction toward overall training. ANOVA linear regression analysis was used to detect significant differences in the mean satisfaction scores between training method and among positive, negative, and neutral learning style categories and training method. When F-test significance existed, the Bonferroni procedure was used to determine which means were statistically different from each other (Black, 2005). Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations The methodological design of this study was quantitative and non-experimental. The following assumptions were made to conduct this study: (a) the target participants

95

were not matched when collecting demographic data, which included gender, age, highest degree earned, and prior academic or professional experience; (b) the data collected from the surveys were an accurate and honest representation of the participants' information and opinions; (c) the participants could access and complete the web-based surveys and submit them while they remained anonymous; (d) the participants responded honestly to the survey items and provided all needed information; (e) the survey instruments were valid and appropriately identified characteristics of participants that affect satisfaction; (f) participants comprehended the information and vocabulary presented within the survey instruments. The study results should add to the current literature and encourage further research in the area of adult learning and adjunct online faculty satisfaction. An inherent limitation exists for correlational studies since the purpose is to identify and measure the strength of any relationship between the variables rather than seeking to establish causality between the variables. Any causality that might be derived from the sampling results goes to support associations between the variables rather than to establishing causality for them (Black, 2005). As an ex post facto study, there was a lack of direct control over the independent variables. Also, there was no control over the effect that other extraneous factors may have on the dependent variable. The validity of the variables was maintained from the quality of the sampling group (Black, 2005). When considering limitations, the most significant was that the sample participation was voluntary. This presents the possibility that the sample may not represent typical adjunct online faculty. Also, surveys were utilized for this study because they could facilitate data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Likert scalerated responses provided a limited interpretation of the collected data. Limitations are

96

those areas that might potentially weaken a study, and this study was limited in the following ways: (a) because of the self-reporting design of the ILS results, the researcher expected, but could not guarantee, that the results would be reported accurately by the participant; (b) although they were instructed to only complete the surveys once, if a participant were a faculty member at multiple schools, a participant could receive invitations and the opportunity to participate through multiple schools; (c) participant responses could be biased on the Online Faculty Training Survey based on the results of the ILS; (d) participants might complete the survey quickly without carefully considering each item; (e) extraneous variables could affect the validity of the results even though they were identified and controlled; (f) care was taken to ensure that the survey instrument was free from gender representation and gender-role stereotypes which could jeopardize the validity of the results; and (g) care was taken to only select participants who had experienced training programs as first-time instructors in the online environment, which added internal validity to the results. The intent for this statistical analysis was to achieve a balance between the four components that affect the conclusions that were reached from statistical testing. Although maintaining a 95% confidence level, a median level effect, and power at 80% limited the probabilities that the observed result would be due to chance and increased the odds that an effect would be observed, this sample was affected by the loss of participants. 165 responses were originally received from the survey, but only 139 were able to be utilized. Limiting the existing data to a particular segment of the population for-profit, degree-granting institutionsand to participants who had participated in a training program and taught one online course, kept the data of acceptable quality but

97

required the omission of several participants. This control ultimately lowered the given sample size to 139 from the a priori estimate of 159, resulting in a lower achieved power level of 0.75, meaning that there is a 75% probability of not making a Type II error. This lower probability could also be the reason that a significant result is not achieved where one is expected. Although lowering the power level slightly decreased the generalizability of the data, controlling for these variables increased validity of the results by making the sample as typical as possible of the total targeted population and increased generalizability. The study was delimited in the following ways: 1. Participation was limited to faculty teaching for for-profit, 4-year, degree-granting online programs and accredited through DETC, which might not be generalizable to faculty teaching for other online institutions. 2. As these were quantitative surveys, the data provided a restricted understanding of the collected data. Instruments were chosen that had been recognized as valid and reliable for a quantitative study and those which would provide data needed to address the research questions. 3. All faculties who took the survey were those who satisfied the criteria for the sample in that they were adjunct or full-time online professors who participated in an organized faculty online-training program. 4. Generalizability of the project was expected by selecting a survey sample from schools located across different areas of the country. 5. The study focus was narrowed to measure the training preferences of faculty.

98

6. Data were sought that could be valuable for instructional developers and institutional administrators or others within the university setting who are directly affected by the learning preferences of faculty involved in institutional training programs. Although information was collected and analyzed that could be valuable to groups outside the primary audience, this study was confined to obtaining data needed by these instructional designers. As retention of these faculties are of primary concern to university administration, only the areas pertaining to learning preferences and expectations for both initial training and professional development programs were measured. Limiting the research to these topics may offer needed insight to those professionals who develop these training programs. Ethical Assurances The researcher acquired permission from Northcentral University's Institutional Review Board prior to any data collection for this study. This approval, along with specific information about the purpose and goals for the study, was sent to the Executive Director of DETC, and later the administration of the individual colleges and universities being invited to participate. The identities of the study participants remain confidential and private. The records obtained from the participants are maintained and available for faculty and staff as needed for the period of time specified as required by the Institutional Review Board. Compliance with the standards for conducting research was carefully followed as the participants were required to acknowledge their consent for research participation. The consent form contained information pertaining to the purpose and the goal of the study. The form also included assurance of confidentiality, contact

99

information for the researcher, and a statement explaining ethical protection for the participants. Participants were informed that they had the ability to leave the study at will. Summary The intent of this research was to explore whether preferred learning style, gender, or the content or presentation of training affect faculty satisfaction toward the training experience. Presented in Chapter Three were the research problem and purpose for the study, the research questions and hypotheses, as well as the research method and design and the rationale behind them. Also included in this chapter was the participant demographic and selection process, descriptions of the research instruments utilized, data collection and analysis methods, limitations and delimitations pertaining to this study, and ethical assurances. A quantitative non-experimental design was utilized to address the purpose for this study. Descriptive statistics were used to describe and summarize the data collected, and comparative statistics were used to determine the extent to which relationships exist between satisfaction and the independent variables of preferred learning style, gender, and training. Two Web-based surveys were utilized to collect data pertinent to this study. Felder and Soloman's (1991) Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) identified the preferred learning style of each participant (Appendix C), and Frese's (2006) Online Faculty Training Survey (Appendix A) collected data regarding participants' demographics and opinions about training. Study data were analyzed using SPSS 19.0 for Windows. Findings from this study add to the existing literature relating to adult learning theory and assist not only adjunct faculty members involved in developing and delivering

100

online education, but university training professionals tasked with developing online instructor training programs for adjunct online faculty. The tangible results of this study serve as recommendations for developing training programs which should lead to a high level of faculty satisfaction regardless of preferred learning style or gender. By developing training programs that are both comprehensive and delivered in a way that can be embraced by all faculty, regardless of learning style or gender, institutions offering distance education programs can ease the transition for adjunct online faculty from either the traditional classroom or the professional environment to the online classroom environment. The result should be a more rewarding experience for the faculty and, ultimately, an improved educational experience for distance learners, supporting both faculty and student retention efforts for these institutions.

101

Chapter 4: Findings The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore relationships between variables that affect faculty satisfaction toward faculty training. The study measured relationships between the independent variables of preferred learning style, gender, and the construct of training, which included both the scope and the method of training received by adjunct faculty, and the dependent variable of faculty satisfaction toward that training experience as measured by the Online Faculty Training Survey. Chapter 4 is organized around the research questions of interest and the hypotheses associated with each, and it concludes with a summary of the findings. Results Data were collected from two survey tools, Felder & Soloman's Inventory of Learning Styles (1991) and the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Reliability and construct validity of the ILS tool has previously been established (Litzinger et al., 2005, Zywno, 2003). Pilot testing was used by the developer to establish reliability and content validity of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Survey items that relate to specific variables of interest are found in Table 1. All questions were utilized in the analysis except for those in Section B. These questions were included to generate thought from the participants about elements included in training.

102

Table 1 Online Faculty Training Survey: Question Analysis and Survey Items Question Analysis Qualifying Questions for Participation Demographic Questions Satisfaction with Training Format Preferred Learning Style Scores Areas of Training Importance Quality of Personal Training (Scope) Quality of Institution's Training Survey Item Number A1, A12, A2, A3. A4. A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A13 A14 A15 Bl, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, BIO CI, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C9, CIO Dl, D2, D3, D4. D5. D6, D7, D8, D9, D10, D11,D12

Descriptive Statistics. Section A of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006) contained questions designed to gather descriptive information about the participants. A total of 139 participants indicated that they had taught at least one online course and that they had participated in a training program. Of these, 12 completed the demographics section but did not provide results regarding preferred learning style or complete the remainder of the survey requesting their opinions about training content and methods. Gender and training information were collected as these were independent variables in the study and are presented in Table 2. Table 2 Gender of Survey Participants n Gender Male Female 69 70 % 49.6 50.4

103

The particular training method or format for each participant is broken down in Table 3. The majority (56.8%) of participants indicated participation in a formalized online or group training program, followed by those participating in both mentoring and formal training (35.3%). A small percentage of participants (7.9%) indicated that formal training was either not offered by their institution or was offered in the form of an informal mentoring program. Table 3 Training Distribution of Survey Participants n Training Method/Format No Training Offered Informal Mentoring Program Formalized Online/Group Training Both Mentoring & Formal Training %

2 9 79 49

1.4 6.5 56.8 35.3

Demographic information regarding age, education levels, faculty status, and prior teaching experience of participants was gathered to ensure that specific groups were represented. This data was collected in an effort to minimize the effect of confounding variables that might impact the validity of the study (Black, 2005). This data is presented in Table 4. Most participants (75.5%) in the study were over the age of 51, with the largest category (38.8%) representing faculty over 65 years of age. Most participants held an earned Master's Degree (59.7%) and were part-time professors (72.7%). The majority (63.3%) of participants were experienced professors.

104

Table 4 Age, Education, and Experience of Survey Participants n Age 20-35 36-50 51-65 Over 65 Faculty Education Level Bachelor Master Terminal Faculty Status Part-time Full-time Teaching Experience in Years Less than 6 6-10 11-20 Over 20
%

8 26 51 54

5.8 18.7 36.7 38.8

0 83 56

0.0 59.7 40.3

101 38

72.7 27.3

51 42 19 27

36.7 30.2 13.7 19.4

Both the research questions and the hypotheses determined the method of data analysis for this study. Methods are explained and graphical representation for results is provided. Results are presented by research question. Research Question 1. Research question Ql sought to evaluate potential any relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The hypotheses stated in terms of expected relationships:

105

Hlo. Faculty preferred learning styles are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. HI a. Faculty preferred learning styles are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Felder and Soloman's Inventory of Learning Styles (1991) was utilized by the participants to determine a preferred learning style. This information was captured on question A15 of the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Survey question A14 measured the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the training format. Hypothesis one was broken down into four separate hypotheses and tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare the means of faculty satisfaction toward training format for each learning style subscale. ANOVA assumes the independence of the groups, that random samples have been taken from the population, that the populations are normally distributed, and that the population variances are all equal (Coladarci et al., 2008). Figures 1 - 4 present mean and standard deviation data for each of the preferred learning style subgroups. For each subscale, the data Range is from -11 to +11. Grouping for each learning style is -11 to -5, -3 to +3, and +5 to +11.

106

Figure 1. Histogram:Active-Reflective

30.0-

20.0-

c
aa>
3

10.0"

Active - Reflective Data gathered for Active/Reflective Learners, as presented in Figure 1, resulted in a bimodal distribution with a greater number of participants preferring an Active style. The largest percentage of participants (33%) was in the -5 to -3 range, signifying a mild to moderate preference for the Active dimension. Conversely, fewer participants (28%) were in the +3 to +5 range, indicating a mild to moderate preference for the Reflective dimension. The mean Active/Reflective score (M = -0.13, SD= 4.51) indicated a slight preference for the Active learning style.

107

Figure 2. Histogram:Sensing - Intuitive

25.0-

-5

Sensing - Intuitive Score

The data gathered for Sensing/Intuitive learners, as presented in Figure 2, resulted in a bimodal distribution with a greater number of participants preferring a Sensing style. The largest percentage of participants (48.9%) was in the -7 to -3 range, indicating a moderate preference for the Sensing learning style. Conversely, fewer participants (26.3%) were in the +3 to +7 range, indicating a moderate preference for the Intuitive dimension. The mean Sensing/Intuitive score (M = -0.97, SD = 5.88) indicated a slight preference for the Sensing learning style.

108

Figure 3. Histogram: Visual -Verbal

25.0H

20.0i

&
0

15.0

a9>
10.CH

5.0H

Visual - Verbal Score

The data gathered for Visual/Verbal learners, as presented in Figure 3, resulted in a bimodal distribution with a greater number of participants preferring a Visual style. The largest percentage of participants (59.1%) was in the -7 to -3 range, signifying moderate preference for the Visual dimension. Fewer participants (14.6%) were in the +3 to +7 range, indicating a moderate preference for a Verbal learning style. The mean {M = -3.03, SD = 5.8) Visual/Verbal score indicated a mild to moderate preference for Visual learning.

109

Figure 4. Histogram: Sequential - Global

25.0-

-5

Sequential - Global Score

The data gathered for Sequential/Global learners, as presented in Figure 4, resulted in a bimodal distribution with a greater number of participants preferring a Sequential style. The largest percentage of participants (63.3%) was in the -7 to -1 range, signifying a mild to moderate preference for the Sequential dimension. Fewer participants (15.8%) were in the +3 to +5 range, indicating a moderate preference for the Global learning style. The mean Sequential/Global score (M = -1.13, SD = 4.75) indicated a mild preference for Sequential learning.

110

Figure 5. Histogram: Satisfaction With Training Format

2.0

3.0

Satisfaction With Training Format

Survey question A14 measured the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the training format. Presented as a 5-point Likert style response, the responses ranged from +1 to +5, with +1 indicating a very low level of satisfaction with the training format and +5 indicating a very strong level of satisfaction. Results are presented in Figure 5, where most participants (M = 3.94, SD = 0.91) indicated that they were satisfied with their training format. ANOVA results are detailed in Table 5. Satisfaction with training format appeared to have the strongest correlation with (a) active (M = 4.07, SD = .9), (b) verbal (M = 4.04, SD = .9), (c) intuitive (M = 4.00, SD = 1.0), and (d) global learners (M = 4.26, SD = .7). Satisfaction appeared to be the lowest with (a) reflective (M = 3.75, SD = 1.0),

Ill

(b) sensing (M= 3.86, SD = .9), (c) visual (M= 3.83, SD = .9), and (d) sequential learners (M= 3.82,3D =.8). Table 5 Relationship Between Preferred Learning Style and Satisfaction With Training Format: ANOVA Results

Learning Style n Active Neutral Reflective Sensing Neutral Intuitive Visual Neutral Verbal Sequential Neutral Global 27 72 28 49 42 36 71 31 25 39 65 23

Satisfaction With Training Format M (SD) 4.07 (0.9) 3.92 (0.8) 3.75(1.0) 3.86 (0.9) 3.90 (0.8) 4.00(1.0) 3.83 (0.9) 4.00 (0.9) 4.04 (0.9) 3.82 (0.8) 3.85(1.0) 4.26 (0.7) 95% CI LL UL 3.71,4.44 3.73,4.10 3.35,4.15 3.60,4.11 3.66,4.15 3.67, 4.33 3.62, 4.04 3.67, 4.53 3.69,4.39 3.56, 4.08 3.61,4.09 3.96, 4.56 F(df) 0.93, (124) p-value 0.40

0.27, (124)

0.76

0.71,(124)

0.49

2.23,(124)

0.11

Note. CI = confidence interval; LL - lower limit, UL - upper limit.

No statistically significant associations between preferred learning style and faculty satisfaction toward training format were identified for either of the learning subgroups. Although a lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for these learning subgroups were considerably below the critical F = 3.06. Multiple comparisons were done using the Bonferroni method. Again, no significant associations were found at p < 0.05. The null hypothesis was retained,

112

indicating that these preferred learning styles were not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward a particular training format. Being cognizant of the fact that the variable of age, prior teaching experience, or educational level of a faculty member could be a factor in male or female attitudes toward training, Pearson Correlation was used to determine any impact that these potential mediating, or confounding, variables might have on the data (Black, 2005). Results are presented in Table 6. The only correlation of interest, indicated by Pearson's r (135) = .215, p =.011, was minimal between satisfaction with training format and teaching experience of the participant. Table 6 Correlations Between Satisfaction With Training Format, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Variable Satisfaction With Training Format Pearson's r P N Pearson's r P N Pearson's r P N .081 .344 139 .004 .966 139 .215* .011 139

Age (In Years)

Highest Degree Earned Teaching Experience (In Years)

* p<0.05 level (2-tailed). Research Question 2. Research question Q2 sought to evaluate potential any relationship between preferred learning style and the level of satisfaction felt toward the

113

content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The hypotheses stated the following: H2o. Faculty preferred learning styles are not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H2a. Faculty preferred learning styles are statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Felder and Soloman's Inventory of Learning Styles (1991) was used by the participants to determine a preferred learning style. This information was collected by the researcher through question A15 of the Online Faculty Training Survey. A scale comprised of 10 questions, Survey questions CI - CIO in the Online Faculty Training Survey, was used to measure the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the scope or content of training. The questions comprising Section C were tested, resulting in a Cronbach's alpha of 0.98, demonstrating a very strong internal consistency within that scale. Specific questions that made up this scale are presented in Table 7. Satisfaction with training content was highest in the areas of (a) how to manage assignments (M = 3.86, SD = 0.88), (b) with use of asynchronous communication {M = 3.75, SD = 0.92), (c) in regard to technology training (M = 3.74, SD = 0.92), and (d) in regard to how to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class (M = 3.72, SD = 0.97). Lowest levels of satisfaction were indicated toward training in how to create an online

114

syllabus (M = 3.27, SD = 1.07) and how to convert a face-to-face class to an online format (M = 3.28, SD = 1.03). Table 7 Item Analysis for Satisfaction Toward Training Content Scale

M My training was satisfactory in: ql. How to convert a face-to-face class to an online format q2. How to create an online syllabus q3. How to meet the needs of an online and/or adult learner q4. How to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class q5. Use of asynchronous communication q6. How to create online assignments for an online class q7. How to manage assignments (e.g. student uploading, grading, etc.) q8. How to create assessments for an online class q9. How to prevent plagiarism or cheating in an online class qlO. Technology training for online instructors

SD_

3.28 3.27 3.64 3.72 3.75 3.35 3.86 3.42 3.41 3.74

1.03 1.07 0.94 0.97 0.92 1.00 0.88 0.99 1.11 0.92

Figure 6 presents the distribution of data regarding satisfaction of training content which was gathered along a 5-point Likert style scale from 1 to 5. The resulting average response (M = 3.54) indicates that, although participating faculty were more neutral in this area, they had a tendency to agree that they were satisfied regarding the quality of their personal training in these areas. Most data points (SD = 0.7333) were in close proximity to the mean (M = 3.54).

115

Figure 6. Quality of Training Content

25.0"

Mean = 3.54 SD=0.73

20.0-

S 15.0-1

aa
10.0-

5.0-

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

Quality Of Personal Training

Hypothesis two was broken down into four separate hypotheses and tested using ANOVAs to compare the means of faculty satisfaction toward content of training for each learning style subscale. These results are presented in Table 8. Satisfaction with training content was highest with (a) Active (M = 3.77, SD = .8), (b) Sensing (M = 3.62, SD = .8), (c) Neutral on the Visual/Verbal subgroup (M = 3.67, SD = 0.7), and (d) both Global (M = 3.71, SD = .7) and Sequential (M = 3.69, SD = .7) subgroups. Satisfaction was the lowest with Reflective (M = 3.17, SD = 0.7) and Verbal learners (M = 3.34, SD = .8). Both the Active/Reflective subgroup, F(2, 124) = 5.43, p = .0006 and the Sequential/Global subgroups, F(2, 124) = 3.08, p = .049, resulted in a statistically significant result of p < .05. Mindful of the possibility of committing a Type I error due

116

Table 8 Relationship Between Preferred Learning Style and Satisfaction With Training Content: ANOVA Results Learning Style M (SD) Active Neutral Reflective Sensing Neutral Intuitive Visual Neutral Verbal Sequential Neutral Global 27 72 28 49 42 36 71 31 25 39 65 23 3.77 (0.8) * 3.59 (0.7) * 3.17(0.7)* 3.62 (0.8) 3.47 (0.6) 3.49 (0.7) 3.55 (0.7) 3.67 (0.7) 3.34 (0.8) 3.69 (0.7) 3.38 (0.8) 3.71 (0.7) Satisfaction With Training Content 95% CI LL UL 3.44,4.10 3.43, 3.74 2.91, 3.43 3.39, 3.86 3.27, 3.67 3.25, 3.72 3.37, 3.72 3.42, 3.90 3.01,3.67 3.47, 3.91 3.19,3.57 3.40, 4.01 F(df) 5.43, (124) p-value 0.006

0.64, (124)

0.53

1.40,(124)

0.25

3.08, (124)

0.049

Note. CI = confidence interval; LL = lower limit, UL = upper limit. * p < 0.05. to a low achieved power (0.75), as both the Active/Reflective (Fobs = 5.43 > Fcnt = 3.06) and the Sequential/Global (Fobs = 3.08 > Fcnt = 3.06) subgroups did produce a relationship between the groups at a statistically significant level of p < .05, the null hypothesis was rejected for both of these subgroups. Multiple comparisons resulted in a significant mean difference at the p < .05 level between Active and Reflective learners, Active and Neutral learners, and Neutral and Reflective learners, where a mean satisfaction score for Active learners was evidenced that is on average .60 points higher than the mean for the Reflective group, with a

117

significance level ofp = 0.006. Although it cannot be determined from the means that Active and Neutral learners, Active and Reflective, or for Neutral and Reflective learners are different from each other regarding their level of satisfaction for training content, it can be noted that satisfaction levels of Active learners are significantly higher than those of Reflective learners. As the comparison of means between the Active/Reflective and the Sequential/Global subgroups produced a relationship between the groups at/7 < .05, the null hypothesis that these preferred learning styles are not significantly related to faculty satisfaction was rejected, accepting that for Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global learners, preferred learning style is significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward training content. Although lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for the Visual/Verbal and Sensing/Intuitive subgroups were considerably below the critical F = 3.06. As the comparison of means between these subgroups did not produce a difference at a statistically significant level ofp < .05, the null hypothesis that preferred learning styles are not significantly related to faculty satisfaction cannot be rejected, accepting that for the Sensing/Intuitive and Visual/Verbal subgroups, preferred learning style is not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward training content. As evidenced in Table 9, correlations of interest exist between both quality of personal training and mediating variables of age and teaching experience, the relationship between satisfaction and teaching experience, indicated by Pearson's r (126) = .280,/? = .001, being the stronger relationship atp < 0.01.

118

Table 9 Correlations Between Satisfaction With Training Content, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Variable Quality of Training Content Pearson's r p N Pearson's r p N Pearson's r p N .175* .049 128 -.043 .630 128 .280 ** .001 128

Age (In Years) Highest Degree Earned Teaching Experience (In Years)

* p < 0.05 level (2-tailed). ** p < 0.01 level (2-tailed). Research Question 3. Research question Q3 sought to evaluate potential any relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The hypotheses stated the following: H3o. Gender is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H3a. Gender is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward a particular method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment.

119

Table 10 Gender and Satisfaction With Training Format Gender Satisfaction With Training Format n Male Female 69 70 M(SD) 4.12(0.7) 3.77 (1.0) p-value (t-test) 0.024

Gender as an independent variable was measured by data collected on Survey question A5 on the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). Survey question A14 measured the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the training method/format. An independent-samples Mest was used to test the relationship between gender and satisfaction felt toward the method of a training program. An independentsamples t-test assumes that the dependent variable is normally distributed, that the two groups have approximately equal variance on the dependent variable as determined by Levene's Test, and that the two groups are independent of one another (Coladarci et al., 2008). Levene's test indicated unequal variances, F(2,137) = 6.2, p = .014. Results of analysis are presented in Table 10. The Mest results indicated that males (M = 4.12, SD = 0.7) were considerably more satisfied with the format of their training program than were females (M = 3.77, SD = 1.0), who were more neutral, when measured on a 5-point Likert style scale. After examining the mean level difference between the groups, there was a significant effect found for gender, ?(137) = 2.28, p < .05, with males indicating greater satisfaction than females. As the f-test did produce a difference between the groups at a level of p = .024, the null hypothesis was rejected. Gender (Fobs = 6.18 > Fcrit = 3.06) did

120

produce a relationship to Satisfaction toward Training at a statistically significant level of p < .05, and the null hypothesis was rejected. There is a statistically significant relationship between genders in regard to faculty satisfaction toward training method. Research Question 4. Research question Q4 sought to evaluate potential any relationship between gender and the level of satisfaction felt toward the scope of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The hypotheses stated the following: H4o. Gender is not statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. H4a. Gender is statistically significantly related to faculty satisfaction felt toward the scope or content of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. Gender as an independent variable was measured by data collected on survey question A5 on the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006). A scale comprised of 10 questions, survey questions CI - C10 in the Online Faculty Training Survey, was used to measure the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the scope or content of training. The specific questions that made up this scale were presented in Table 7. An independent-samples ?-test was used to compare mean satisfaction scores between Gender and Satisfaction toward Training Content. Results of analysis are presented in Table 11. Levene's test indicated that equal variances should be assumed, F(2,126) = .26, p = .61. The Mest results indicated that males (M = 3.69) are slightly

121

Table 11 Gender and Satisfaction With Training Scope or Content Gender Satisfaction With Training Content n Male Female 64 64 M(SD) 3.69 (0.7) 3.40 (0.7) p-value (Mest) 0.026

more satisfied with the format of their training program than are females (M = 3.40). The mean male response, collected on a 5-point Likert style scale, indicated that males agreed more frequently that they were satisfied with their training content. Females (M = 3.40) were more neutral with their responses toward satisfaction toward training content. After examining the mean level difference between the groups, there was a significant effect found for gender, ?(126) = 2.25, p = .03, with males indicating greater satisfaction than females. Gender did produce a relationship to Satisfaction toward Training at a statistically significant level of p = .026, and the null hypothesis was rejected, accepting that there is a statistically significant relationship between Gender as it relates to Faculty Satisfaction toward Training Content. Research Question 5. Research question Q5 sought to determine whether methods of training or preferred learning styles had a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience. The hypotheses stated the following: H5o. There is no statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format or preferred learning style on satisfaction toward overall training. H5a. There is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format or preferred learning style on satisfaction toward overall training.

122

Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006) question A13 measured data regarding a participant's method of training. Felder and Soloman's Inventory of Learning Styles (1991) was used by the participants to determine a preferred learning style, which was measured through question A15 of the Online Faculty Training Survey. A scale comprised of 12 questions, survey questions Dl - D12 on the Online Faculty Training Survey, was used to measure the satisfaction level of the adjunct faculty member toward the overall training experience. Table 12 Item Analysis for Satisfaction for Overall Training Experience

M Quality of Institution's Training: ql. Provides adequate faculty development/training q2. Requirement for adequate training q3. Provides adequate technical support q4. Provides satisfactory incentives for online teaching q5. Sets appropriate class size limits q6. Importance of a mentor for first term instructors q7. Importance of student evaluations q8. Importance of administrative/faculty evaluations q9. Importance of having online experience as a student qlO. Differences in assignment for an online class and FTF class ql 1. Importance of use of threaded discussions ql2. Importance of faculty forums

SD

3.83 3.86 4.03 3.30 3.47 4.00 4.14 4.17 3.38 3.58 4.12 4.00

.86 .85 .86 1.13 1.11 .86 .69 .61 1.04 .98 .68 .70

The questions contained in Section D were tested, resulting in a Cronbach's alpha of 1, demonstrating a very strong internal consistency within the scale. Specific questions contained within the scale are presented on Table 12. Satisfaction with overall training appeared to be highest concerning importance of both administrative evaluations (M = 4.17, SD = .61) and student evaluations (M = 4.14, SD = .69). Lowest levels of

123

satisfaction appeared with providing satisfactory incentives for teaching online (M = 3.30, SD = 1.13), having online experience as a student (M = 3.38, SD = 1.04) and setting appropriate class size limits (M = 3.47, SD = 1.11). In an effort to determine the effect of previously identified mediating variables, correlations were evaluated between the demographic variables of age, highest degree earned, and teaching experience, and the dependent variable of satisfaction toward quality of the training experience. Results are presented in Table 13. Although correlations were determined between Age and Highest Degree Earned and between Age and Teaching Experience, these were not relationships of interest for this question. Table 13 Correlations Between Quality of Institutions' Training Program, Age, Highest Degree Earned, and Teaching Experience Variable Quality of Institutions' Training Program Pearson's r p N Pearson's r p N Pearson's r p N -.029 .743 128 -.083 .350 128 .001 .987 128

Age (In Years)

Highest Degree Earned Teaching Experience (In Years)

Hypothesis five was broken down into four separate hypotheses and evaluated using analysis of variance. As in research questions one and two, independent samples, populations that are normally distributed, and equal populations are assumed. For each

124

subgroup, the F statistic indicates the strength of the relationship and how much of the variance in the results can be explained by the particular variable. Results are presented in Table 14. Table 14 Comparison Between Methods of Training and Preferred Learning Style and Effect on Faculty Satisfaction Toward the Overall Training Experience Comparison F(df) Active/Reflective Training Method Sensing/Intuitive Training Method Visual/Verbal Training Method 1.88,(126) 2.13,(126) 0.02, (126) 1.89,(126) 3.10,(126) 1.42, (126) Results v 0.16 0.10 0.98 0.13 0.05* 0.24 0.22 0.13 R2 .075

.047

.093

1.55,(126) Sequential/Global Training Method 1.90,(126) * p < 0.05 level (2-tailed).

.070

Only for the Visual/Verbal subgroup were significant results indicated between preferred learning style and Faculty Satisfaction toward the Overall Training Experience, F(2, 126) = 3.10, p = .05. The Visual/Verbal subgroup also had more of an effect than training format on Faculty Satisfaction toward Overall Training, F(2, 126) = 1.42, p = .24. The greater effect of learning style is evidenced by the greater F-value for learning style versus training method, F = 3.10 and F = 1.42, respectively. Variation in satisfaction (9%) explained by either training format or preferred learning style in this model is minimal. The remaining variation of satisfaction (91%) cannot be explained by either of these factors. Mindful to the possibility of committing a Type I error due to low achieved power (0.75), as the Visual/Verbal subgroup, (Fobs = 3.10 > Fcrit = 3.06), did

125

produce a relationship to Satisfaction toward Training at a statistically significant level of p = .049, the null hypothesis was rejected, accepting that for Visual/Verbal learners there is a statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format or preferred learning style on satisfaction toward overall training. For each of the other three learning style subgroups, the F-value for training method indicates a stronger correlation to satisfaction than does the F-value for preferred learning style. The model describing the Sensing/Intuitive subgroup, F(2, 126) = .02, p = .98, and training format, F(3, 126) = 1.89, p = .13, indicates that minimal variation (5%) in satisfaction could be explained by the variables in this model. Likewise, for Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global learners, the F statistic for training method indicates a stronger correlation to satisfaction than does the F statistic for preferred learning style. None of the relationships between learning style and satisfaction or training method and satisfaction were statistically significant. Training method continues to have more effect on satisfaction, but for Active/Reflective learners both preferred learning style and training method have a larger effect on satisfaction toward the overall training experience than was evidenced in the Sensing/Intuitive and Sequential/Global subgroups. With the exception of the Visual/Verbal subgroup, analyses for all learning styles indicate a lack of significant correlation between both preferred learning style and training format as they relate to faculty satisfaction toward the quality of the overall training experience. Neither comparison resulted in a statistically significant correlation, where p < .05. Although lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, all F values for both the learning subgroups and training methods were

126

considerably below the critical F = 3.06. This results in a failure to reject the null hypothesis in each case, and to accept that for the Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups there was no significant relationship between the effects of training method as compared to that of preferred learning style on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience. Evaluation of Findings The findings of this study are evaluated with respect to (a) the underlying conceptual framework, (b) other studies in the same field, and (c) how the results of this study may have practical implications with respect to influencing educational policies in regard to faculty training. Satisfaction has been equated to the " . . . perception that teaching in the online environment is effective and professionally beneficial" (Bollinger & Wasilik, 2009, p. 105). This definition could be expanded to include the premise that individuals glean acceptance and pleasure from a factor as they perceive themselves experiencing success with it. Although much prior research is available addressing the level of satisfaction felt by students learning utilizing distance education, limited research has addressed the level of satisfaction felt by faculty teaching within the online environment. Previous studies that have explored faculty satisfaction have done so with a focus on determining causes for why level of satisfaction affects job satisfaction as a whole (Gaillard-Kenny, 2006; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Sabharwal & Corley, 2009). This study narrows the focus to explore another facet of satisfaction. Through a frame of adult learning, the study explores training practices provided for faculty, as adult learners, to identify relationships between preferred learning style, gender, and satisfaction.

127

Although lower power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for the Active/Reflective, Visual/Verbal, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups were all considerably below the critical F= 3.06. Most participants agreed that they were satisfied with their training format, with the mean (M= 3.94) quantifying satisfaction on a 5-point continuous Likert scale. Satisfaction with training format was strongest with Global learners, with higher means also resulting with Verbal, Intuitive, and Active learners. The lowest satisfaction means were those of Reflective learners, along with lower means associated with Sequential, Sensing, and Visual learners. These results agree with Knowles' andragogical model which suggests that an adult learner will process information and respond to instructional methods based on the level of their experience (Knowles, 1990). For each of these subgroups Constructivist theorists would stipulate that learners would participate at a level where they are able to construct meaning (Duncan & Barnett, 2009; Gulati, 2008). Zapalska and Brozik (2007) suggested that since online courses lend themselves to text-based instruction, student differences toward learning can stem from areas of general skills, aptitude, or information processing, or how students apply information to new situations. By adapting teaching methods to meet different learning style preferences instructors would improve not only student motivation to learn but performance as well (Wehrwein et al., 2007; Wolf, 2006). These findings reinforce results from Lu and Chiou (2010) who evaluated relationships between Active and Reflective learning styles and predictors of satisfaction toward an e-learning format. Specifically, Lu and Chiou (2010) assessed the predictors of "interface friendliness, content richness, perceived flexibility, and perceived community" (p. 309), and found only moderate relationships between these two groups of

128

learners and the predictors. They determined that instructional designers should focus on developing strategies that have a stronger effect on specific groups of students. These results are also consistent with findings of Berings, Poell, and Simons (2008) who, when identifying workplace learning styles, suggested that learning is usually a more collaborative or a shared process in academic contexts. They alternatively proposed that in educational contexts learning is considered to be more of an individual activity. Faculty training programs would appropriately be characterized as a work-place activity as well as an educational activity. Berings et al. suggested that learning is mainly an individual activity in educational contexts and that learning style dimensions appropriate for that educational contexts should be applicable to implicit learning. Sequential learners can function with limited understanding of the concept being taught, where Global learners reason more systematically and may struggle to apply new material until they can relate it to material that they already understand (Felder & Brent, 2005). For both groups, the result is the ability to obtain and apply meaning to knowledge in an abstract form. The Sequential/Global learning style subgroup indicated the strongest relationship to faculty satisfaction toward training format, (F = 2.23), suggesting that the method of training delivery they received was either appropriate for them to make the connections needed to make the training experience meaningful, in the case of Global learners (M = 4.26) or the method of training did not lead to faculty satisfaction, as in the case of Sequential learners (M = 3.82). The results of this study support those of another study which compared preferred learning styles to satisfaction levels of online college level students. Witowski's (2008) study is of interest as it utilized Felder and Soloman's Inventory of Learning Styles

129

(1991) when determining preferred learning styles. Witowski compared student learning styles to student satisfaction with results indicating that no ILS subgroups were significantly affected by student satisfaction toward the online environment. Some preferred learning style subgroups were not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward content of training for adjunct online faculty where other styles did result in significant relationships. Although lower power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for the Visual/Verbal and Sensing/Intuitive subgroups were considerably below the critical F= 3.06. Correlations between preferred learning style and satisfaction with training content were most significant with the Active/Reflective subgroup as well as the Sequential/Global subgroup, with post-hoc comparisons producing significant results atp = 0.006 and/? = 0.049, respectively. For these subgroups the null hypothesis was rejected, as results suggested that these subgroups are significantly related to faculty satisfaction to training content. Relationships were not as strong between the Sensing/Intuitive and the Visual/Verbal subgroups, p > 0.05. The null hypothesis was not rejected, as results suggest that for these subgroups preferred learning style was not significantly related to satisfaction toward training content. These findings are consistent with stimulus-response theoretical propositions that learners should be active, rather than being passive listeners or viewers, while engaged in the learning process (Knowles, 1990). Active learners, who prefer physical activity or discussion as part of the learning experience, are able to recognize when skills are needed for real-life situations and become more involved as they determine the need for learning (Knowles, 1990). Whether a learner is a Sequential learner, one who progresses to an

130

understanding in incremental steps, or a Global learner, one who more easily sees the larger concepts, andragogy characterizes these Active learners as adults who need to know the reason for learning before they engage in the learning process (Knowles, 1990). These findings are consistent with Knowles' (1990) definition of self-directed learners, a central concept in adult education. Active and Global learners are, by description, self-directed and motivated. Characteristics of an adult learner include independence, self-discipline, and the desire to learn. This, coupled with a willingness to take initiative, makes adult learners more self-confident throughout the learning process (Cercone, 2008). Mezirow's (2000) theory of transformative learning also supports these findings, naming content and process reflection as integral steps when processing the change needed for adult understanding. Scoring with the highest means in relation to satisfaction toward training format and training content, this sample group represents Active and Global learners who were presented with content in a significant fashion that allowed for them to assimilate the material in an organized method. Meaningful training would provide opportunity for introspection and the ability to receive further instruction and explanation when needed. Significant relationships were identified between gender and faculty satisfaction toward training method. The null hypothesis that gender is not significantly related to the level of satisfaction toward the method of training was rejected. Results showed that males (M = 4.12) were significantly more satisfied in response to training method than females (M = 3.77) who were more neutral.

131

Descriptive statistics for satisfaction with training format were stratified by gender and method of training. These results are presented on Table 15. Males indicated a higher degree of satisfaction toward training format in relation to formalized online/group training method and to a combination of both mentoring and formalized training than did females. Females indicated a higher degree of satisfaction to training than males when training only consisted of informal mentoring. Results showed that males (M = 4.12) were more satisfied in response to training method than females (M = 3.77) who, again, were more neutral. Table 15 Relationship Between Method of Training Format by Gender and Satisfaction With Training

Method of Training

Satisfaction With Training Format 95% CI Gender n M (SD) LL UL Male Female Total 6 3 9 44 35 79 19 30 49 69 68 137 3.83(1.17) 4.33(0.57) 4.00(1.0) 4.04(0.71) 3.48(0.95) 3.80(0.86) 4.37(0.59) 4.03(1.09) 4.16(0.94) 4.12(0.8) 3.77(1.0) 3.94 (0.9) [3.12,4.54] [3.32,5.33]

Informal Mentoring

Formalized Male Online/Group Female Training Total Mentoring Male & Formalized Female Training Total Total Male Female Total

[3.78,4.30] [3.19,3.78]

[3.96,4.76] [3.71,4.35]

These results support previous research into gender differences in relation to learning style preferences. Wehrwein et al. (2007), when assessing undergraduate

132

students' learning style preferences, looked for differences attributable to gender and found that males (87.5%) preferred to receive information in multiple forms compared to females (45.8%). They also determined that females (54.2%) preferred unimodal learning, or one method of information presentation, compared to males (12.5%) preferring this style of instruction. In this study, significant relationships also occurred between gender and faculty satisfaction toward content of training programs, and the null hypothesis that gender is not significantly related to the level of satisfaction toward the scope or content of training was rejected. Results showed that males (M = 3.69) were more satisfied in response to training method than females (M = 3.40) who, again, were more neutral. These results correspond with recent research findings that provide significant reason to consider gender differences in perception of satisfaction. Lu and Chiou (2010) explored contingent variables affecting satisfaction. When sampling online students, categorized by gender, job standing, and learning style, Lu and Chiou found that males were rated higher than females in relation to all predictors of satisfaction toward online learning. Garland and Martin's (2005) research supported gender as a factor in online learning when comparing results for graduate traditional learners to graduate students in equivalent online classes. The results, however, contradict those of a more recent study which evaluated gender as a possible factor affecting learner satisfaction in the online environment (Witowski, 2008). After controlling for other variables in the study, Witowski (2008) found no relationship between gender and satisfaction level in the online environment.

133

The last area of interest was whether training method or preferred learning style would have a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience for an adjunct online faculty. The ANOVA results revealed statistically significant results for only the Visual/Verbal subgroup, (p < 0.05). The results, however, do clearly show a pattern. For the Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups, training method explained more of the variance than did the particular preferred learning style. The null hypothesis for the last question stated that one variable would not have a greater effect on faculty satisfaction than the other variable, or that there would not be a significant difference in the relationship between preferred style and faculty satisfaction and between training method and faculty satisfaction. Although the results for training method were not statistically significant, it was clear that, in this analysis, training method had a much stronger association with faculty satisfaction than did preferred learning style. Except for the Visual/Verbal subgroup which was statistically significant in regard to learning style, as the ANOVAs between each of these subgroups did not produce a relationship between the group means at a level ofp < .05, the null hypothesis was not rejected. Although lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to the lack of significance, the F values for the Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups, as well as the F values for all relationships between training method and the overall training experience, were all considerably below the critical F = 3.06. These findings support the theoretical propositions inherent to adult learning theory that suggest that the goal of the adult learner will determine what method of

134

instruction is needed and what skills will be necessary for learning (Knowles, 1990). Learners should experience a variety of learning strategies to strengthen their learning abilities. The outcomes are consistent with previous research findings which indicated a strong correlation between instructional delivery method and student satisfaction toward online learning (Witowski, 2008). A positive association existed between training method and satisfaction with both increasing at the same rate. Witowski (2008) also found positive correlations between components of the instruction delivery method being tested and levels of student satisfaction. This study's findings support the results of Koenig (2010). When evaluating the differences in satisfaction levels between three methods of instructional delivery, classroom-based, video conference-based, and online-based courses, Koenig found that significant differences existed on all measures of effectiveness except for education utilization and learning styles. While many different learning styles were presented to traditional students, more so than to those online, Koenig found no significant relationship between student satisfaction and delivery method. Summary This study found that preferred learning style was not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward training or training content. Although a lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to the lack of significance, the F values for the each of the learning style subgroups were all considerably below the critical F= 3.06. Both the Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global learning style subgroups were statistically related to satisfaction toward training content at the/; < .05 significance level. Gender was found to be significantly related to both satisfaction toward training method

135

and satisfaction to training content. Males were significantly more satisfied than females in regard to both the method of training and the content of the training program experience. For each of the four subgroups, training method explained more of the variance in the model than did preference for a particular learning style, with the exception of the Visual/Verbal subgroup. It was clear that for this subgroup learning style had a stronger association with faculty satisfaction than did method of training, as the Visual/Verbal subgroup was significantly related, p < .05, to Faculty Satisfaction toward the Overall Training Experience. For Active/Reflective learners, although training method was stronger, both preferred learning style and training method had a larger effect on satisfaction toward the overall training experience than was evidenced in the Sensing/Intuitive and Sequential/Global subgroups. When evaluating whether preferred learning style or method of training had a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward training, the results were not significant at ap < .05 level so the null hypothesis could not be rejected. The exception was the Visual/Verbal learning style which was statistically significant at/? = .05. Consequently, the null hypothesis Hlo was retained for all learning subgroups at the p < 0.05 significance level. As statistically significant relationships were identified for the Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global subgroups for H2o, the null hypothesis was rejected for both of these two subgroups but was retained for the Visual/Verbal and Sequential/Global subgroups. This study found significant relationships between gender and faculty satisfaction toward both training method and training content, where males were significantly more satisfied than females. Based on these findings, the null

136

hypotheses H3o, and H4o were rejected at the 0.05 significance level. The H5o was rejected for the VisuaWerbal learning subgroup but retained for all other subgroups and all comparisons between Training Method and Faculty Satisfaction toward the Overall Training Experience.

137

Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions A dramatic increase in distance education programs has created the need for institution administrators to address documented concerns of adjunct online faculty members in regard to training (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009; Perreault et al., 2008). Researchers have proposed how training programs for faculty should be designed to be considered satisfactory and comprehensive. Adult learning theories suggest that adults are self-directed learners (Knowles, 1975; Mezirow, 2000). A number of studies recommending best practices for training program development indicated that developers may overlook characteristics affecting adult learners, such as gender and learning style (Biro, 2005; Fish & Gill, 2009). Recent studies have identified indicators of faculty satisfaction that are directly related to the method of delivery or to how thorough an online training program is (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Regino, 2009; Wolf, 2006). Researchers have studied how gender and learning styles of adult learners affect satisfaction and academic success (Saleh, 1997; Witowski, 2008). This connection to the satisfaction levels, and ultimately the retention, of adjunct online faculty remains unexplored. The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to evaluate significant relationships between preferred learning styles, gender, and the components of an individual training program in regard to how these variables may affect the level of satisfaction felt by an adjunct online faculty toward his or her training experience. The study utilized two Web-based survey tools. Felder and Soloman's (1991) Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire (ILS) was used to determine participants' preferred learning style, and the Online Faculty Training Survey (Frese, 2006) was used to measure

138

faculty satisfaction levels toward training methods and components. It also served to acquire demographic data including age, education level, and online teaching experience from the adjunct online faculty population. These tools were used to determine whether preferred learning style, gender, or the content or presentation of training affect faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience. An important limitation for this study was exclusion of participants which lowered the achieved power to 0.75, meaning that there was a 75% probability of not making a Type II error. Only 139 of the original 165 responses were able to be utilized. Limiting the existing data to a particular segment of the population, for-profit, degreegranting institutions, and to participants who had participated in training and taught an online course kept the data of acceptable quality but required the elimination of several participants. This lower probability could explain why a significant result is not achieved where one is expected. Other inherent limitations existed for this non-experimental study due to its survey format for data collection as well as its purpose, which was to identify and measure how strong relationships might be between the variables rather than seeking to establish causality. Limitations of this study included: (a) survey participation which was voluntary and might not represent typical adjunct online faculty, (b) the self-reporting nature of the ILS results could not guarantee accurate results, (c) the possibility for participant participation through multiple schools, (d) participants might complete the survey quickly without carefully considering each item, (e) Likert scale rated responses provided a limited interpretation of the collected data, (f) participant error could occur

139

between the two survey tools, and (g) extraneous variables could affect the validity of the results even though they are being identified and controlled. Ethical implications for study participants were minimal. After receiving institution approval for this study, proper notification regarding the study was sent to the accrediting agency and later to the administration of the colleges and universities being invited to participate. The identity of the study participants was and remains confidential and private. Compliance with the standards for conducting research was carefully followed as the participants were required to acknowledge their consent for research participation. Participants were informed that they had the ability to leave the survey at will. In this chapter, the implications of the study are presented established by the survey data. Each research finding is examined and logically drawn conclusions are presented as well as potential limitations that could have affected interpretation of the data. The appropriateness of the results is evaluated in relation to existing literature regarding factors leading to faculty satisfaction toward training. Recommendations are presented both for practical application of the results and for future research. Implications Research Question lwas designed to explore relationships between preferred learning style and level of satisfaction felt toward the method of training received in preparation for teaching in the online environment. The question was answered using the independent variable, preferred learning style, and the dependent variable, faculty satisfaction toward the training method. Data were derived from questions A14 and A15 on the Online Faculty Training Survey. The results of the learning style survey were self-

140

reported by the participant, and participant response was based on their own interpretation of each query. Therefore, any error in the reporting of these scores may potentially affect the interpretation of the results of the data. No significant relationships were determined between any of the four learning style subgroups and satisfaction level toward training method which indicated that faculty satisfaction toward training was not related to a particular learning preference. Although a lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for these learning subgroups were considerably below the critical F = 3.06. Reflective learners, those who create meaning by reflecting on presented information, indicated the lowest satisfaction levels toward training method, where Global learners, those who prefer to look at concepts in their entirety, indicated greater satisfaction. The findings of the training survey indicated that most participants were satisfied with their training format (M- 3.94), and that the strongest correlations to satisfaction were indicated by participants with strong preferences for Global (M = 4.26), Active (M = 4.07) or Verbal (M= 4.04) learning styles. Faculty preferring Active, Intuitive, or Verbal learning indicated satisfaction with their training format, and signified that the program they experienced offered opportunities for activity or discussion, was focused on concepts and meanings, and utilized written and/or spoken presentation. Although Global learners indicated the highest satisfaction levels (M= 4.26) of all the learning dimensions, the Sequential/Global subgroup as a whole did not produce a significant correlation to satisfaction with their training format. Although a learning style may provide insight into how a learner will approach the learning process, the significance of this result only suggests that students who think

141

linearly as well as those who think holistically were both satisfied with the format of the training offered. It can be concluded that instruction for adult learners should be presented to provide needed information to learners, but also allows them to control how quickly they learn. The null hypothesis, that preferred learning styles are not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward a particular method of training, was maintained for each of these learning style subgroups. After considering the impact that age, educational level, and prior experience might have on the preferred learning styles, in most cases, these variables were not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward a particular method of training for this sample. A minimal correlation, indicated by Pearson's r = .215, p =.011, was evident between satisfaction with training format and teaching experience of the participant. This finding aligns with adult learning theory in that faculty who are more experienced may have more highly developed skills and be better able to learn successfully when exposed to a variety of training methods. Knowles (1990) determined that the basis of andragogy rests on the premise that adults choose appropriate learning strategies in order to enhance their learning experience. Understanding how faculty learns, by understanding how they perceive and process information, is central for improving not only faculty motivation to learn but their satisfaction with the training process. Developing programs that appeal to the Sequential/Global subgroup indicates that these programs consider the learners orientation to learning as well as their readiness to learn (Knowles, 1990). It can be concluded, from a high level of satisfaction among Global, Active and Verbal learners, that training programs which incorporate instructional strategies that support the Active

142

and Verbal learning style preferences create a learning environment that promotes a high degree of faculty satisfaction. These findings support Berings et al. (2008), who found that, when in training, adjunct online faculty draw upon both an educational learning style and a workplace learning style preference. Becoming aware of work-related styles was determined to be beneficial way of strengthening it (Berings et al., 2008). This supports what Ouellette (2000) and Romanelli et al. (2009) found, which indicated that training programs that incorporate various learning style preferences not only consider the faculty as an adult learner, but should also consider that learning style as an indicator of the faculty's teaching style. This study adds further support to Romanelli et al., Terrell (2005), and Zapalska and Brozik's (2007) findings stating that when instructors use different learning strategies to reach students with varying learning preferences effectiveness of online courses improves. Research Question 2 sought to explore relationships between preferred learning style and level of satisfaction felt toward the content of a faculty training program. The question was answered using the independent variable, preferred learning style, and the dependent variable, faculty satisfaction toward the scope or content of the training program. Data were derived from questions A15 and Section C on the Online Faculty Training Survey designed to measure faculty opinions about the individual's personal training. The study revealed that two learning subgroups, Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global, showed significant relationships,p = 0.006 and;? = .049 respectively, to satisfaction toward training content. The Active/Reflective learning style encompasses

143

both those learners that prefer physical activity of discussion as well as those who prefer to process information through reflection. Within that subscale, satisfaction levels for both Active (M = 3.77) and Neutral (M = 3.59) learners were significantly higher than those of participants indicating a Reflective learning preference (M= 3.17). The null hypothesis, that preferred learning styles are not significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward training content, was rejected for the Active/Reflective and Sequential/Global subgroups and maintained for the Visual/Verbal and Sensing/Intuitive subgroups. Although a lower achieved power (0.75) may contribute to a lack of significance, the F values for these learning subgroups were considerably below the critical F = 3.06. This finding reinforces the fact that students learn when they are engaged. Active learners responded with the highest correlation between their learning style and satisfaction level with both training content and training format. The results of the training survey also indicated that, although participants were somewhat satisfied with the content of their training program (M= 3.54), those most satisfied were participants with strong preferences for Active (M= 3.77) or Global (M= 3.71) learning styles. Conversely, Reflective (M = 3.17), Verbal (M= 3.34), and Intuitive (M= 3.49) learners showed the weakest correlation to satisfaction. This emphasizes the need for program managers to focus on providing opportunities for reflection, interaction, and collaboration as they design training programs. Minimal correlations existed between satisfaction with training content and teaching experience of the participant, indicated by Pearson's r = .280, p =.001, and between age and satisfaction with training content. Although Likert scale rated responses

144

provided a limited interpretation of the collected data, this data implies that more experienced faculty had a more favorable impression of the training received. As the results of the learning style survey were self-reported by the participant, any error in the reporting of these scores may potentially affect the interpretation of the results of the data. Galbraith and Fouch (2007) stated that, in addition to training format, training content has been shown to influence the overall success of a training experience for adult learners. Faculty with propensities toward Active, Global, or Sequential styles showed the higher satisfaction levels with the content of faculty training, indicating that they experienced programs that kept them physically engaged but allowed for understanding whether the information was presented in incremental steps or as overall concepts. This result agrees with findings of Felder and Spurlin (2005) and Zapalska and Brozik (2007) where they noted that designing instruction that addresses a learner's preferred style of learning aids them as they develop new skills. This finding also supports a transformational environment where change can be either incremental, through a progression of smaller shifts in a learner's frame of reference, or epochal, which is more sudden or dramatic (Mezirow, 2000). This finding also supports Cercone (2008) who stated that, for adult learners, as with all students, preferred learning styles should be considered when developing learning activities, as it has been shown to determine how an individual will approach a learning task. Training programs should be developed to incorporate strategies for presenting content that utilizes all the different learning style dimensions. Instruction that is prejudiced toward one learning style can create a distinct disadvantage for learners who

145

are not strong in those skills which will, ultimately, hinder their ability to learn. Conversely, learners who are strong in the style of instruction will be less likely to develop skills in the other areas. Research Question 3 was designed to explore relationships between gender and level of satisfaction felt toward the format of a faculty training program. The question was answered using the independent variable, gender, and the dependent variable, faculty satisfaction toward the training method. Data were derived from questions A5 and A14 on the Online Faculty Training Survey. The null hypothesis for question three was rejected as the study revealed that gender did affect faculty satisfaction toward method of training (p = 0.024). Males (M 4.12) were considerably more satisfied than were females (M = 3.77), who were more neutral in their opinions. As the data were based on Likert scale rated responses, limited interpretation for causality of these results was possible. The highest levels of satisfaction toward training format were seen by males who participated in training that consisted of both mentoring and formalized training (M = 4.37), with the lowest satisfaction levels (M = 3.83) indicated for participation in informal mentoring alone. This finding validates those of Lu and Chiou (2010), who found that males were significantly more satisfied with the e-learning system of instruction. This finding suggests that providing opportunities for males to participate in formalized online programs which can be completed at their own pace is preferred to more personal training methods. Females, in contrast, indicated the highest levels of satisfaction when participating in informal mentoring (M = 4.33) with their lowest satisfaction levels indicated for

146

participation in a formalized online/group training program (M = 3.48). The finding supports Regino's (2009) study where faculty felt that mentoring was one important factor in creating a quality training program. These results suggest that female students prefer to receive training in a format that provides more direct attention from the instructor. Both males and females felt more satisfied with training that included mentoring to some degree. Neither males nor females indicated the highest levels of satisfaction with programs that only included formalized training, whether it was offered online or through group instruction. Ouellette (2000) found gender differences to be important differentiators between learners, and that learners will usually choose learning strategies that are congruent with their learning style. This finding further supports Garland and Martin (2005) who found a significant correlation between male students in relation to both learning style and level of engagement. As prior research is limited in regard to satisfaction toward training, comparisons are also being drawn to previous studies exploring total job satisfaction. This current finding supports that of Bender and Heywood (2006), who found that females in a business environment tended to be more satisfied than males, they found the opposite was true in academia where females were less satisfied than males. The outcomes are also consistent with later findings by Sabharwal and Corley (2009), who found that male educators had higher levels of overall job satisfaction, regardless of their field. Although Ward and Sloane (as cited in Sabharwal & Corley, 2009) found little differences between gender and satisfaction, across all disciplines Sabharwal and Corley found that female educators indicated satisfaction levels that were lower than their male counterparts. From

147

these results, it can be concluded that adequate training for faculty is needed, and it should be presented in a format that provides opportunity for interaction between the instructor and the adult learner. Unless a faculty member is adequately trained for teaching in a distance education environment, the experience will be a negative one, and the learner will be less likely to feel successful. Research Question 4 was designed to explore relationships between gender and level of satisfaction felt toward the content of a faculty training program. The question was answered using the independent variable, gender, and the dependent variable, faculty satisfaction toward the training content. Data were derived from questions A5 and Section C on the Online Faculty Training Survey designed to measure faculty opinions about the individual's personal training. The null hypothesis for question four was rejected as the study revealed that gender did affect faculty satisfaction toward training content, p = 0.026. Males (M = 3.69) were slightly more satisfied than were females (M = 3.40), who were again more neutral in their opinions. Again, study limitations allow for the chance that participants might complete the survey quickly without carefully considering each item. Also of concern was the lack of causal information provided by Likert scale rated responses. Faculty satisfaction as it relates to gender will become increasingly more important in the coming years if current trends in postsecondary enrollment continue. Sabharwal and Corley (2009) reported that women and minorities are projected to be elevated among the faculty as senior faculty retire and are replaced. The findings suggest that, although males are satisfied with the content that is being offered through existing training programs, currently these programs are not offering the content that is needed for

148

female learners to feel satisfied in the online environment. As no current research studies were found that specifically examine relationships between gender and satisfaction in adult faculty within the online environment, the study results will add to the body of knowledge in that area. Research Question 5 sought to determine if either method of training or preferred learning style had a greater effect on faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience provided by an institution. The question was answered using two independent variables, preferred learning style and method of training, and the dependent variable, faculty satisfaction toward the overall training experience. Data were derived from questions (a) A13, which collected demographic data on training format, (b) A15, which collected self-reported data about preferred learning style, and (c) a scale comprised of questions in Section D on the Online Faculty Training Survey designed to measure faculty satisfaction level toward the overall training experience. Voluntary participation in the survey along with the self-reported nature of the learning style results, as well as the possible limitation imposed from a lower achieved power (0.75), could potentially affect the interpretation of the results of the data. Only the Visual/Verbal learning style subgroup evidenced a statistically significant relationship with satisfaction toward the overall training experience. The null hypothesis, which specified no statistically significant difference between the effect of either training format or preferred learning style on satisfaction toward overall training, was rejected. Visual/Verbal learners indicated that a higher correlation to satisfaction resulted from learning style, F(2, 126) = 3.10, p = .05, than from training method, F(3, 126) = 1.42, p = 0.24. For the remaining learning style subgroups the reverse was true in

149

that training method showed a stronger correlation to satisfaction than did the preferred learning style. The null hypothesis was retained for Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, and Sequential/Global subgroups. This finding suggests that, although the learner ultimately has control over the learning process, the presentation of material through various methods increases the likelihood that material is being received in a meaningful way for the learner. Analysis did indicate that the availability of both administrative/faculty evaluations (M = 4.17) and student evaluations (M = 4.14), along with the availability of threaded discussions (M = 4.12), were important components of a satisfactory training program. This finding suggests that open communication between all levels of the academic structure are desired and welcomed by adjunct faculty. Lower levels of satisfaction were felt toward the institution's incentives offered to faculty for online teaching (M = 3.30) and toward the importance of having online experience as a student (M = 3.38). Participants were also less satisfied in regard to what was considered an appropriate class size limit (M = 3.47). This finding supports previous research into characteristics of faculty training programs where faculty satisfaction resulted both in the initial training quality and the continued support offered by the institutions (Bolinger & Wasilik, 2009; Fish & Gill, 2009; Oomen-Early & Murphy, 2009). Recommendations Recommendations by the researcher are being made for practical applications of this study and for future research. A goal was to identify factors that affect faculty's ability to teach effectively by evaluating the effect of preferred learning style and gender on a learner's capacity to successfully acquire technological and pedagogical skills

150

needed for the online environment. Below are specific recommendations resulting from this study. Recommendations for Practice. This study sought to identify relationships between learning style, gender, and faculty satisfaction to faculty training. This study found that only the Active/Reflective learning style subgroup was significantly related to faculty satisfaction toward training content, Active learners indicating the highest level of satisfaction, with Reflective learners indicating that they were least satisfied. Program administrators are challenged to incorporate various strategies for delivering content throughout the faculty training program so that it is meaningful to those learners actively engaged in learning, but will also meet the needs of learners who might not be actively engaged. Offering a variety of learning strategies and presentations will not only address the preferences of multiple learning styles, but will also introduce all faculty to alternative presentation methods that may be unfamiliar to them. Although for this study program trainers were not a primary focus, the role of the instructor in a faculty training program is paramount and two-fold. An instructor's teaching style is important, as that individual is expected to present material that is relevant to adult learners in a meaningful way. Acquisition of technological and pedagogical skills has a critical impact on faculty's ability to develop and teach online courses effectively. Faculty trainers are challenged to integrate the needed technological skills with the pedagogical techniques required for faculty to be effective in the online environment. This study suggests that incorporating opportunities within training programs for open communication and collaboration between faculty may increase satisfaction and result in more effective training.

151

Active/Reflective learners indicated a strong relationship between their preferred learning style and level of satisfaction with both training content and training format. Although Active learners indicated high levels of satisfaction, the lowest levels of satisfaction were indicated by Reflective learners. While Active learners are actively engaged in the learning process, low satisfaction levels from Reflective, Verbal, and Intuitive learners leads to the conclusion that those learners' needs are not being addressed. Instructional strategies that provide opportunities for reflection, interaction, and collaboration should be designed into formalized training programs whether they are being delivered in an online format or in a classroom setting. Developing training programs that present content and skills sequentially will allow learners to control how quickly they learn. Gender was found to be a factor in determining faculty satisfaction toward methods of training and training content. Although males were considerably more satisfied with both training methods and training content than were females, both males and females felt more satisfied with training that included mentoring. Providing access to online mentors would appeal to adult learners who are problem-centered and, as such, are customer-service oriented. Availability of online mentors would satisfy the need for quick access and application of needed information. Online mentors would also provide female faculty with training that provides one-to-one contact with an instructor. Providing mentors as part of a total program in continuing faculty development should increase satisfaction levels, improve faculty self-concept, increase instructor effectiveness, and, ultimately, aid in retention efforts.

152

An item analysis of factors that contribute to faculty satisfaction toward training revealed faculty acknowledgment that both administrative/faculty evaluations as well as student evaluations were important components of a satisfactory training program. This finding suggests that open communication between all levels of the academic structure are desired and welcomed by adjunct faculty. Institutional evaluation of the quality of their online programs is suggested to safeguard the effectiveness of faculty training. Recommendations for Research. After conducting the study and examining its results, suggestions for future research emerged. While the study regarding faculty satisfaction evidenced that satisfaction toward training was not significantly related to an adult's learning style, the ability to generalize the findings outside the sample population was limited as the study examined only one group of faculty. Further research is desirable to confirm the outcomes of the study. A follow-up study evaluating faculty affiliated with DETC accredited schools in tandem with another similar group of faculty could be conducted, results of which could then be compared to these results. This study found that faculty satisfaction toward training is not related to the individual's learning style. A qualitative study should be implemented to understand the causes behind faculty satisfaction levels toward training, and to identify other variables that may be factors affecting faculty satisfaction and, ultimately, faculty retention. Interviewing individuals and groups of faculty, and utilizing open-ended questioning will provide opportunity for a deeper understanding of the factors influencing satisfaction. This study found a disparity existed in the attitudes and perceptions of faculty in regard to criteria needed for a quality training program. While the study revealed the disparity and identified areas of concern, it was unable to explain the reasons for them.

153

Further qualitative study is recommended to examine if a disparity exists between males and females to determine potential causes. For instance, future research may seek to determine if lack of communication led to the disparity between male and female levels of satisfaction for the overall training experience. Conclusions Chapter 5 offered the implications as well as recommendations that arose from this non-experimental study of faculty satisfaction levels toward content and method of faculty training and potential relationships to preferred learning style or gender of faculty as adult learners. Allowing for the potential limitation posed by the lower achieved power, the study findings indicated that for most learning styles, faculty satisfaction toward training was not reliant on a particular learning style. Those faculty who are actively engaged in the learning process indicated that they found both the content and delivery methods for training to be satisfactory. The findings also indicated that Sequential learners, those who create meaning by approaching learning through incremental steps, experienced the lowest satisfaction toward training method where Global learners, those who prefer to look at concepts in their entirety, indicated greater satisfaction with current training methods. Significant differences were found between the genders in regard to satisfaction toward training methods and content. Males were considerably more satisfied than females toward training practices. Genders indicated a preference for training that encourages communication and includes mentoring in addition to a formalized program. Finally, the study found that, for most learning styles, training methods have more of an impact on faculty satisfaction than preferred learning styles with one notable

154

exception. Visual or Verbal participation in the learning process, indicating a need for greater communication within the training programs, has a greater effect than a particular training method on the level of satisfaction experienced by the adult learner. Also of interest was the Active/Reflective subgroup, where training method had a larger effect on satisfaction than was evidenced in the other subgroups. Again, lower achieved power may explain a lack of significant results where they were expected. The study results reinforce the supposition that students learn when they are engaged. The outcomes of the study also validate the theory that faculty should be considered adult learners and have access to training and professional development opportunities that support the characteristics of adult learners. Adult learner instruction is more satisfactory when information is oriented to specific tasks rather than being presented abstractly. The findings were supported by literature advising that program administrators should consider the diversity of the workplace when developing meaningful programs (Schmidt, 2009). Findings further support literature suggesting that to improve course effectiveness, instructors must be able to teach to the diversity of learning styles that would be represented in their classes (Ng et al., 2008; Romanelli et al., 2009; Terrell, 2005; Zapalska & Brozik, 2007). The study added to the research regarding the criteria for quality training for adjunct online faculty, but additional research is desired to confirm the outcomes. The research was limited in its ability to generalize findings as it examined only one segment of the faculty population. Replication of this study is recommended to determine if similar significant relationships in training practices and satisfaction exist throughout the post-secondary academic community. Further research utilizing different tools for

155

identifying preferred learning style is recommended. Qualitative studies are recommended to understand the causes influencing gender satisfaction toward training and other extraneous factors that may affect faculty satisfaction.

156

References Allen, E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. The Sloan Consortium. Babson Survey Research Group. Retrieved from http://www.sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/pdf/learningondemand.pdf American heritage college dictionary (4th ed.). (2007). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. American heritage dictionary of the English language (4th ed.). (2000). Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/higher+education Association of Public and Land-grant Universities-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning. (2009). Strong faculty engagement in online learning APLU reports. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from http://www.sloanconsortium.org/APLU_Reports Backhaus, K. (2009, January). Desire for professional development among adjunct business faculty. Journal of Faculty Development, 23(1), 40-47. Bates, C , & Watson, M. (2008, Mar). Re-learning teaching techniques to be effective in hybrid and online courses. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 13(1), 38-44. Bender, K. A., & Heywood, J. S. (2006, May). Job satisfaction of the highly educated: The role of gender, academic tenure, and earnings. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 53(2), 253-279. doi: 10.1111/J.1467-9485.2006.00379.X Berings, M. G., Poell, R. F., & Simons, P. R. (2008, July). Dimensions of on-the-job learning styles. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57(3), 417-440. doi: 10.1111/j. 1464-0597.2008.00362.X Betts, K. (2009, March). Online human touch (OHT) training & support: A conceptual framework to increase faculty engagement, connectivity, and retention in online education, part 2. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(1), 29-48. Betts, K. S., & Sikorski, B. (2008). Financial bottom line: Estimating the cost of faculty/adjunct turnover and attrition for online programs. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 11(1), 1. Biro, S. C. (2005). Adjunct faculty perceptions about their preparation, support, and value as online instructors (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest database. (AAT 3255630) Black, T. R. (2005). Doing quantitative research in the social sciences: An integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. London, England: Sage.

157

Blodgett, M. C. (2008). Adjunct faculty perceptions of needs in preparation to teach online. Dissertations Abstracts International, 69(06), 1-118. (UMI No. 3311265) Bocchi, J., Eastman, J. K., & Swift, C. O. (2004). Retaining the online learner: Profile of students in an online MBA program and implications for teaching them. Journal of Education for Business, 79(4), 245-253. Bolinger, D. U., & Wasilik, O. (2009). Factors influencing faculty satisfaction with online teaching and learning in higher education. Distance Education, 30(1), 103116. Cercone, K. (2008, April). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. Association for the Advancement of Computing In Education Journal, 16(2), 137-159. Coladarci, T., Cobb, C. D., Minium, E. W., & Clarke, R. B. (2008). Fundamentals of statistical reasoning in education (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Crews, T. B., Wilkinson, K., Hemby, K. V., McCannon, M., & Wiedmaier, C. (2008). Workload management strategies for online educators. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 50(3), 132-149. Davis, D. (2009). Developing faculty to teach online. International Journal of Learning, 16(2), 155-168. Dempsey, J. V., Fisher, S. F., Wright, D. E., & Anderton, E. K. (2008). Training and support, obstacles, and library impacts on e-learning activities. College Student Journal, 42(2), 630-636. Duncan, H. E., & Barnett, J. (2009). Learning to teach online: What works for pre-service teachers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 40(3), 357-376. doi:10.2190/EC.40.3.f Faul, F. (1992). G*Power Version 3.1.2 (Version 3.1.2)[Computer program]. http://www.psycho.uni-duesseldorf.de/aap/projects/gpower/ Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2005, January). Understanding student differences. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 57-72. Felder, R. M., & Soloman, B. A. (1991). Learning styles and strategies [Measurement tool]. Published instrument. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edU/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSpage.html Felder, R. M., & Soloman, B. A. (1991). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edU/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/TLSpage.html

158

Felder, R. M., & Spurlin, J. (2005). Applications, reliability and validity of the index of learning styles. Instructional Journal of Engineering Education, 21(1), 103-112. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/rLS_Validation(I JEE).pdf Fish, W. W., & Gill, P. B. (2009). Perceptions of online instruction. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 8(1), 53-64. Frese, J. C. (2006). A faculty development handbook for quality online instruction (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest database. (AAT3210255) Frese, J. C. (2006). Online Faculty Training Survey [Measurement tool]. Unpublished instrument. Gaillard-Kenney, S. (2006). Adjunct faculty in distance education: What program managers should know. Distance Learning, 3(1), 9-16. Galbraith, D. D., & Fauch, S. E. (2007, September). Principles of adult learning. Professional Safety, 52(9), 35-40. Garland, D., & Martin, B. N. (2005, Fall). Do gender and learning style play a role in how online courses should be designed? Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 4(2), 67-81. Retrieved from http://www.ncolr.Org/jiol/issues/PDF/4.2.l.pdf Grant, M. R., & Thornton, H. R. (2007). Best practices in undergraduate adult-centered online learning: Mechanisms for course design and delivery. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(4), 346-356. Greenberg, A. (2009). An analysis of preferred learning styles, as they affect adult learners in the synchronour online environment (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest database. (AAT3373504) Gulati, S. (2008, May). Compulsory participation in online discussions: Is this constructivism or normalisation of learning? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 45(2), 183-192. doi: 10.1080/14703290801950427 Helm, J. H. (2008, July). Got standards?: Don't give up on engaged learning!. YC: Young Children, 63(4), 14-20. Kasworm, C. (2008, March). What are they thinking? Adult undergraduate learners who resist learning. Journal of research in Innovative Teaching, 1(1), 25-34.

159

Kasworm, C. (2009, January). What are they thinking? Adult undergraduate learners who resist learning. National University Journal of Research in Innovating Teaching, 7(1), 25-34. King, K. P. (2007, Apr-Jun). The transformation model. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 3(2), 26-31. Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall/Cambridge. Knowles, M. (1990). The adult learner: A neglected species (4th ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf. Koenig, R. J. (2010, February). Faculty satisfaction with distance education: A comparative analysis on effectiveness of undergraduate course delivery modes. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 7(2), 17-24. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kozub, R. M. (2010, March). An ANOVA analysis of the relationships between business students' learning styles and effectiveness of web based instruction. American Journal of Business Education, 5(3), 89-98. Kroth, M., & Boverie, P. (2009, Spring). Using the discovering model to facilitate transformational learning and career development. Journal of Adult Education, 38(1), 43-47. Lacey, T. A., & Wright, B. (2009, November). Occupational employment projections to 2018. Monthly Labor Review, 82-123. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2009/ll/art5full.pdf Lefrancois, G. R. (2000). Psychology for teaching (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Litzinger, T. A., Lee, S. H., Wise, J. C , & Felder, R. M. (2007, October). A psychometric study of the index of learning styles. Journal of Engineering Education, 96(4), 309-319. Liu, Y. (2007). A comparative study of learning styles between online and traditional students. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 37(1), 41-63. Lu, H., & Chiou, M. (2010, March). The impact of individual differences on e-learning system satisfaction: A contingency approach. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 307-323. doi:10.1111/j.l467-8535.2009.00937.x Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

160

Milliken, T. F., & Jurgens, J. C. (2008, Fall). Assessing the needs of human services adjunct faculty: Uncovering strategies for retaining quality instructors. Human Service Education, 28(1), 29-43. Mitchell, R. L. (2009). Online education and organizational change. Community College Review, 57(1), 81-101. National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Fast facts. Retrieved August 5, 2010, from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98 Ng, P., Pinto, J., & Williams, S. K. (2008, January). The effect of learning styles on course performance: A quantile regression analysis (Working Paper Series-0802). Retrieved from http://www.franke.nau.edu/pinng/working/LearningStyles.pdf Oomen-Early, J., & Murphy, L. (2009). Self-actualization and e-learning: A qualitative investigation of university faculty's perceived needs for effective online instruction. International Journal ofE-Learning, 8(2), 223-240. Ouellette, R. (2000). Learning styles in adult education. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from http://polaris.umuc.edu/~rouellet/learnstyle/learnstyle.htm Perreault, H., Waldman, L., Alexander, M., & Zhao, J. (2008). Comparing the distance learning-related course development approach and faculty support and rewards structure at AACSB accredited institutions between 2001 and 2006. Journal of Educators Online, 5(2), 1-15. Retrieved from http://www.thejeo.com/Archives/Volume5Number2/PerreaultetalPaper.pdf Quality framework for online education, (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2010, from http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/SLOANC~41 .html Regino, R. C. (2009). Teacher perceptions of their training to teach online within community colleges in one region in California. Dissertations Abstracts International, 70(1), 1-125. (UMINo. 3341926) Romanelli, F., Bird, E., & Ryan, M. (2009, February). Learning styles: A review of theory, application, and best practices. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(1), 1-5. Sabharwal, M., & Corley, E. A. (2009, September). Faculty job satisfaction across gender and discipline. Social Science Journal, 46(3), 539-556. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2009.04.015 Saleh, A. I. (1997). The nexus of brain hemisphericity, personality types, temperaments, learning styles, learning strategies, gender, majors, and cultures. Dissertations Abstracts International, 58(08), 1-245. (UMINo. 9806879)

161

Schlosser, L. A., & Simonson, M. (2006). Distance education: Definitions and glossary of terms (2nd ed.). Greenwich, CT: Information Age. Schmidt, S. W. (2009, July). Employee demographics and job training satisfaction: The relationship between dimensions of diversity and satisfaction with job training. Human Resource Development International, 12(3), 297-312. doi: 10.1080/13678860902982082 Shea, P. (2007). Bridges and barriers to teaching online college courses: A study of experienced online faculty in thirty-six colleges. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(2), 73-128. Sloan Consortium. (2002). Quick guide: Pillar reference manual. Needham, MA: Sloan Consortium. Retrieved August 30, 2009, from http://www.sloanconsortium.org/publications/books/dprm_sm.pdf Smith, D. E., & Mitry, D. J. (2008, Jan/Feb). Investigation of higher education: The real costs and quality of online programs. Journal of Education for Business, 83(3), 147-152. Taylor, K. (2006, Summer). Brain function and adult learning: Implications for practice. Terrell, S. R. (2005, Summer). Supporting different learning styles in an online learning environment: Does it really matter in the long run? Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 8(2). Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer82/terrell82.htm Wehrwein, E. A. (2007, December). Gender differences in learning style preferences among undergraduate physiology students. Advances in Physiology Education, 31, 153-157. doi:10.1152/advan.00060.2006 Witowski, L. L. (2008). The relationship between instructional delivery methods and student learning preferences: What contributes to student satisfaction in an online learning environment? Dissertations Abstracts International: Section A. Humanities and Social Sciences, 69(05), 1-151. Wolf, P. D. (2006). Best practices in the training of faculty to teach online. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 17(2), 47-78. Yang, Z., & Liu, Q. (2007). Research and development of web-based virtual online classroom. Computers & Education, 48, 171-184. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2004.12.007 Zapalska, A., & Brozik, D. (2007). Learning styles and online education. Campus- Wide Information Systems, 24(1), 6-16. doi: 10.1108/10650740710726455

162

Zull, J. E. (2006, Summer). Key aspects of how the brain learns. New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, 110, 3-9. doi:10.1002/ace.213 Zywno, M. S. (2003). A contribution to validation of score meaning for FelderSoloman's Index of Learning Styles. Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, USA, 2351, 1-16. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edU/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/Zywno_Validatio n_Study.pdf

163

Appendixes

164

Appendix A:

- ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

1. Introduction and Informed Consent


Thank you sincerely for taking a few moments to complete this survey. My name is Teresa Lees, public school educator and adjunct online professor. I am currently pursuing a PhD with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership, and I would like to invite you to participate in a research study that is being conducted for my dissertation at Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. Based upon your affiliation with a DETC accredited college or university, you have been invited to voluntarily participate in this study, and the only requirements are that the respondents occasionally or regularly teach on an adjunct basis for one or more institutions of higher learning and that they have participated in a formalized training program in preparation for teaching online. The study will explore relationships between learning style, gender, and satisfaction toward training. Your participation in this survey will be completely anonymous. Please access and complete the Felder and Soloman's Index of Learning Styles (ILS) questionnaire prior to completing this Online Faculty Training Survey. The results of this survey will be requested as part of the Online Faculty Training Survey. The ILS contains 44 questions and will take approximately 5 - 8 minutes to complete. Your results will be requested as part of the Online Faculty Training Survey. For access to the ILS, you may copy and paste this Web link into the address bar of your web browser: http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html There are no requirements that you complete this survey and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. You will be asked to consent or to decline your participation before beginning the Online Faculty Training Survey. This survey has a total of 47 questions and will take approximately 5 - 8 minutes to complete. Thank you for answering the questions honestly. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this research! Should you have questions or concerns please contact: Teresa Lees tdleesl @ gmail.com (251) 654-2248

1. Please read each statement and choose the box that represents whether or not you will be participating.

165

^ Please read each statement and choose the box that represents whether or not you will be participating. I understand the purpose of the study and agree to participate in the survey ^ I do not wish to participate in the survey

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

2. A. Background of Participants
This section of the survey includes 15 questions designed to collect demographic data as well as determine the teaching and/or training background of the participants. Results from the Felder and Soloman's Index of Learning Styles will be collected in this section. Are you a teacher teaching online? If so, will you entertain the following questions: 1. How long have you taught online? k* How long have you taught online? 1 term ( or semester) ^ 2 - 4 terms (or semesters)

^ More than 4 terms (or semesters) ^ Never (you do not need to fill out the rest of the survey)
R-ev

j Next

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

3.
Do you use academic software? If so, will you entertain the following questions:

1. What academic software do you use primarily?


^
C

What academic software do you use primarily? Blackboard WebCT

"* FrontPage
C

Other

166

*-* More than one


l>ev No^t

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

4.
Have you ever developed or designed courses for the online environment? If so, will you entertain the following questions:

1. Do you design and develop your own online content?


^
C

Do you design and develop your own online content? Yes No

2. What is your faculty status?


^ ^ What is your faculty status? Part-time Full-time

3. What is your gender?


^ What is your gender? Male Female 4. What is your highest education level? ^
rj

What is your highest education level? Bachelor's Degree

"* Master's Degree *^ Terminal Degree 5. What is your age?


C E C

What is your age? 20-35 36-50 51-65

167

Over 65

6. What is your experience prior to teaching online? ^ What is your experience prior to teaching online? Teaching in a traditional classroom k ^
C

Working in a professional environment other than academic Both teaching and professional experience

*^ Working in an academic environment in an administrative capacity Other

7. What is your prior teaching experience in years? ^


C C C

What is your prior teaching experience in years? Less than 5 6-10 11-20 Over 20

8.1 had online experience as a student prior to becoming an online instructor.

I had online experience as a student prior to becoming an online instructor. Yes

E No
9. My institution has a Forum or threaded discussion for instructors to share ideas and concerns. ^ My institution has a Forum or threaded discussion for instructors to share ideas and concerns. Yes
C

No I don't know
Prev Next I

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

168

5.
Did you participate in a training program in preparation to teach online? If so, will you entertain the following questions? 1.1 participated in a training program provided by my current institution.

C I participated in a training program provided by my current institution. Yes

n
V

No

2. My institution's training program consists of the following format:

My institution's training program consists of the following format: No training offered ^ Formalized Online Training Program ^ Mentoring & Formal Training V Informal Mentoring Program ^
C

Formalized Group Training Program

Other 3.1 am satisfied with the format of my training program.


r"*1
r^
i1

r"

I am satisfied with the format of my training program. Strongly Disagree

Lj

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

Ptev

Next

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

6.
Did you complete the Inventory of Learning Styles Questionnaire prior to completing this survey? If so, will you provide the following information:

169

1. My preferred learning style scores from the Inventory of Learning Styles survey are: (Please include one for each subscale. For example: ACT or REF should have a numeric score; SEN or INT should have a numeric score; VIS or VRB should have a numeric score; and SEQ or GLO should have a numeric score). My preferred learning style scores from the Inventory of Learning Styles survey are: (Please include one for each subscale. For example: ACT or REF should have a numeric score; SEN or INT should have a numeric score; VIS or VRB should have a numeric score; and SEQ or GLO should have a numeric score). ACT

REF
SEN

I
|

~ _

vis
VRB SEQ GLO

I
| | | " _
Rev

~~ ~~
Next

170

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

7. B. Areas of Training Importance


Listed below are areas where instructors may need training. Please give a response based on your opinion as to the importance of that training. Strongly Disagree: You feel the training is not important; Strongly Agree: You feel the training is very important). Training in this area is important:

1. How to convert a face-to-face class to an online format.


^ How to "* Disagree convert a face-toface class to an online format. Strongly Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

2. How to create an online syllabus. ^ How to *"* Disagree create an online syllabus. Strongly Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree "^ Strongly Agree

3. How to meet the needs of an online/adult learner.


p"*i p"*i
Wll

"I

W^i

^ How to meet ^ the needs of an online/adult learner. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

"* Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

4. How to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class.


^ How to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class. Disagree ^ Neutral Agree "* Strongly Agree

171

Strongly Disagree 5. How to utilize asynchronous communication (e.g., threaded discussions, e-mail, etc.)
p"*1 f*1 p** f
1

r*1

^ How to utilize asynchronous communication (e.g., threaded discussions, email, etc.) Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

6. How to create online assignments for an online class. E How to create online assignments for an online class. Strongly Disagree
C

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

7. How to manage assignments (e.g., student uploading, grading, etc.)


P"*l p-f) "*! P"*l P"**

^ How to ^ manage assignments (e.g., student uploading, grading, etc.) Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

8. How to create assessments for an online class (e.g., tests, exams, etc.) ^ How to create assessments for an online class (e.g., tests, exams, etc.) Strongly ^ Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree *"* Strongly Agree

172

Disagree 9. How to prevent plagiarism or cheating in an online class. ^ How to prevent plagiarism or cheating in an online class. Strongly Disagree k" Disagree
C

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

10. Technology training for online instructors. ^ Technology ^ training for online instructors. Strongly Disagree Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

R-ev I Next I

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

8. C. Quality of Personal Training


Listed below are areas where instructors may need training. Please give a response based on your opinion as to the quality of your personal training. Strongly Disagree: You feel the training is not important; Strongly Agree: You feel the training is very important). My personal training was satisfactory in: 1. How to convert a face-to-face class to an online format.
p"

r"

r*1

r*1

How to ^ convert a face-toface class to an online format. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

*-* Agree

^ Strongly Agree

2. How to create an online syllabus.

173

W"^\

'"*!

W**\

W**\

J0"*i

*^ How to "^ Disagree create an online syllabus. Strongly Disagree

"^ Neutral

"^ Agree

"^ Strongly Agree

3. How to meet the needs of an online/adult learner.

r*1

i* "1
Disagree

r^
Neutral

r*1
^ Agree

c
^ Strongly Agree

^ How to m e e t " the needs of an online/adult learner. Strongly Disagree

4. How to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class. ^ How to become a facilitator/moderator of an online class. Strongly Disagree Disagree " Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

5. Use of asynchronous communication (e.g., threaded discussions, e-mail, etc.) ^ Use of asynchronous communication (e.g., threaded discussions, email, etc.) Strongly Disagree ^ Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

6. How to create online assignments for an online class.


^^fl

^^

r*'

|T^l

^MH

^ How to ^ create online assignments for an online class. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

7. How to manage assignments (e.g., student uploading, grading, etc.)


E How to manage assignments (e.g., student uploading, grading, etc.) Strongly Disagree L

Disagree

"

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

8. How to create assessments for an online class (e.g., tests, exams, etc.)
How to create assessments for an online class (e.g., tests, exams, etc.) Strongly Disagree
L C

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

9. How to prevent plagiarism or cheating in an online class.


How to prevent plagiarism or cheating in an online class. Strongly Disagree
L C

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

10. Technology training for online instructors.


Technology training for online instructors. Strongly Disagree
C C

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

FYev

Next

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

175

9. Quality of Institution's Training


Listed below are areas where instructors may need training. Please give a response based on your opinion as to the importance of that training. Strongly Disagree: You feel the training is not important; Strongly Agree: You feel the training is very important). Please give a response based on your opinion regarding the quality of training provided by the Institution. 1. My institution provides an adequate faculty development and training program for online teaching.
"wi P"*? F*' f"*1^

f^

^ My ^ institution provides an adequate faculty development and training program for online teaching. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

2. My institution requires instructors to be adequately trained before they teach online (either through the institution's own training program or elsewhere).
P*1 ^"H
f''

^T^

f"*l

^ My ^ institution requires instructors to be adequately trained before they teach online (either through the institution's own training program or elsewhere). Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

3. My institution provides adequate technical support for its online instructors.

176

W-Wt

ft'"**

>' I | W

M**\

V"*!

^ My institution provides adequate technical support for its online instructors. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

"

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

4. My institution provides satisfactory incentives for teaching online (e.g., extra pay to develop an online class, a stipend for teaching the first online class, release time, etc.)
w^ tr^ w**

r"

r^

^ My institution provides satisfactory incentives for teaching online (e.g., extra pay to develop an online class, a stipend for teaching the first online class, release time, etc.) Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

5. My institution sets appropriate class size limits for online classes. ^ My ^ institution sets appropriate class size limits for online classes. Strongly Disagree Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

6. Providing a mentor for instructors for the first semester/term teaching online is important. ^ Providing a mentor for Disagree Neutral *^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

177

instructors for the first semester/term teaching online is important. Strongly Disagree 7. Student evaluations of online courses are important.
r" r1

j"* 1

r""

r"

^ Student evaluations of online courses are important. Strongly Disagree

*^ Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

8. Administrative and/or faculty evaluations of online courses are important. ^ Administrative and/or faculty evaluations of online courses are important. Strongly Disagree E Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree ^ Strongly Agree

9. Having experience as an online student before teaching online is important. *"* Having experience as an online student before teaching online is important. Strongly Disagree
Ll

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

10. Assignments are different in an online class than they are for a face-toface class.

178

W"*l

'"1

W*A

V *\

W 1

^ Assignments are different in an online class than they are for a face-to-face class. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly Agree

11. The use of threaded discussions for student-to-student and student-toinstructor communication in an online class is important. ^ The use of ^ threaded discussions for student-tostudent and student-toinstructor communication in an online class is important. Strongly Disagree Disagree ^ Neutral ^ Agree
C

Strongly Agree

12. Faculty forums or threaded discussions where online instructors can exchange ideas or discuss problems are important.
^^^f ^^'i
W"^

w"*t

f*'

^ Faculty ^ forums or threaded discussions where online instructors can exchange ideas or discuss problems are important. Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

^ Strongly Agree

Rev

Next

ONLINE FACULTY TRAINING SURVEY Exit this survey

179

10. Thank You and Comments


Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. If you would like a copy of the research findings, please email your request to tdleesl @gmail.com.

1. Please enter comments, if any:

mi _ . _ .. _
Please enter comments, if any:

3
J
Rev Done

180

Appendix B: Re: Use of your online survey Joan Frese <jcfrese@yahoo.com> From: To: Add to Contacts Terry Lees <tdlees@yahoo.com>

Yes you may use it. Joan On Sun, 11/29/09, Terry Lees <tdlees@yahoo.com> wrote: From: Terry Lees <tdlees@yahoo.com> Subject: Use of your online survey To: jcfrese@yahoo.com Date: Sunday, November 29, 2009, 8:35 AM Dr. Frese, My name is Terry Lees and I am currently working on the research courses as part of the requirements for the PhD program at NCU in Organizational Leadership. I am currently in the quantitative methods class and am being asked to create a hypothetical questionnaire to support my research questions. I have been told that it is preferred that we utilize pre-existing survey items for our survey tools and, in searching, I discovered the one you created related to online faculty training. As my research deals with the variable of gender and whether it relates to faculty satisfaction toward online training programs, the questions that you have incorporated into your tool are appropriate. May I have your permission to adapt your questionnaire as the basis for the survey tool that I will use? If so, do I need to provide you with any additional information, or will I need any additional documentation from you for the IRB here at NCU? Thank you for your consideration in this request, and I look forward to hearing from you. Terry Lees

181

Appendix C: Felder and Soloman's INDEX OF LEARNING STYLES DIRECTIONS Enter your answers to every question on the ILS scoring sheet. Please choose only one answer for each question. If both "a" and "b" seem to apply to you, choose the one that applies more frequently. 1.1 understand something better after I a) try it out. b) think it through. 2.1 would rather be considered a) realistic. b) innovative. 3. When I think about what I did yesterday, I am most likely to get a) a picture. b) words. 4.1 tend to a) understand details of a subject but may be fuzzy about its overall structure. b) understand the overall structure but may be fuzzy about details. 5. When I am learning something new, it helps me to a) talk about it. b) think about it. 6. If I were a teacher, I would rather teach a course a) that deals with facts and real life situations. b) that deals with ideas and theories. 7.1 prefer to get new information in a) pictures, diagrams, graphs, or maps. b) written directions or verbal information. 8. Once I understand a) all the parts, I understand the whole thing. b) the whole thing, I see how the parts fit.

Copyright 1991,1994 by North Carolina State University (Authored by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman). Reprinted by permission of North Carolina State University

182

9. In a study group working on difficult material, I am more likely to a) jump in and contribute ideas. b) sit back and listen. 10.1 find it easier a) to learn facts. b) to learn concepts. 11. In a book with lots of pictures and charts, I am likely to a) look over the pictures and charts carefully. b) focus on the written text. 12. When I solve math problems a) I usually work my way to the solutions one step at a time. b) I often just see the solutions but then have to struggle to figure out the steps to get to them. 13. In classes I have taken a) I have usually gotten to know many of the students. b) I have rarely gotten to know many of the students. 14. In reading nonfiction, I prefer a) something that teaches me new facts or tells me how to do something. b) something that gives me new ideas to think about. 15.1 like teachers a) who put a lot of diagrams on the board. b) who spend a lot of time explaining. 16. When I'm analyzing a story or a novel a) I think of the incidents and try to put them together to figure out the themes. b) I just know what the themes are when I finish reading and then I have to go back and find the incidents that demonstrate them. 17. When I start a homework problem, I am more likely to a) start working on the solution immediately. b) try to fully understand the problem first. 18.1 prefer the idea of a) certainty. b) theory. 19.1 remember best a) what I see. b) what I hear.

20. It is more important to me that an instructor a) lay out the material in clear sequential steps. b) give me an overall picture and relate the material to other subjects. 21.1 prefer to study a) in a study group. b) alone. 22.1 am more likely to be considered a) careful about the details of my work. b) creative about how to do my work. 23. When I get directions to a new place, I prefer a) a map. b) written instructions. 24.1 learn a) at a fairly regular pace. If I study hard, I'll "get it." b) in fits and starts. I'll be totally confused and then suddenly it all "clicks. 25.1 would rather first a) try things out. b) think about how I'm going to do it. 26. When I am reading for enjoyment, I like writers to a) clearly say what they mean. b) say things in creative, interesting ways. 27. When I see a diagram or sketch in class, I am most likely to remember a) the picture. b) what the instructor said about it. 28. When considering a body of information, I am more likely to a) focus on details and miss the big picture. b) try to understand the big picture before getting into the details. 29.1 more easily remember a) something I have done. b) something I have thought a lot about.

30. When I have to perform a task, I prefer to a) master one way of doing it. b) come up with new ways of doing it.

184

31. When someone is showing me data, I prefer a) charts or graphs. b) text summarizing the results. 32. When writing a paper, I am more likely to a) work on (think about or write) the beginning of the paper and progress forward. b) work on (think about or write) different parts of the paper and then order them. 33. When I have to work on a group project, I first want to a) have "group brainstorming" where everyone contributes ideas. b) brainstorm individually and then come together as a group to compare ideas. 34.1 consider it higher praise to call someone a) sensible. b) imaginative. 35. When I meet people at a party, I am more likely to remember a) what they looked like. b) what they said about themselves. 36. When I am learning a new subject, I prefer to a) stay focused on that subject, learning as much about it as I can. b) try to make connections between that subject and related subjects. 37.1 am more likely to be considered a) outgoing. b) reserved. 38.1 prefer courses that emphasize a) concrete material (facts, data). b) abstract material (concepts, theories). 39. For entertainment, I would rather a) watch television. b) read a book. 40. Some teachers start their lectures with an outline of what they will cover. Such outlines are a) somewhat helpful to me. b) very helpful to me. 41. The idea of doing homework in groups, with one grade for the entire group, a) appeals to me. b) does not appeal to me.

185

42. When I am doing long calculations, a) I tend to repeat all my steps and check my work carefully. b) I find checking my work tiresome and have to force myself to do it. 43.1 tend to picture places I have been a) easily and fairly accurately. b) with difficulty and without much detail. 44. When solving problems in a group, I would be more likely to a) think of the steps in the solution process. b) think of possible consequences or applications of the solution in a wide range of areas.

186 Appendix D: Invitation Letter and Informed Consent My name is Teresa Lees, public school educator and adjunct online professor. I am currently pursuing a PhD, and I would like to invite you to participate in a research study that is being conducted for my dissertation at Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. Based upon your affiliation with a DETC accredited college or university, you have been invited to voluntarily participate in this study, and the only requirements are that the respondents occasionally or regularly teach on an adjunct basis for one or more institutions of higher learning and that they have participated in a formalized training program in preparation for teaching online. Your participation in this survey will be completely anonymous. The study will explore relationships between learning style, gender, and satisfaction toward training. Two electronic questionnaires will be used, one to identify learning style and one to gather demographic information and opinions regarding training. Both questionnaires should take, in total, approximately 10 to 15 minutes or less to complete. Although the Index of Learning Styles questionnaire asks for your name, the results of that questionnaire are returned to you and not to the researcher. Your results from that survey will be requested as part of the second questionnaire, the Online Faculty Training Survey. Neither the researcher nor any other person will know who you are as the questionnaire returned to the researcher does not ask for any personal identification information, nor will your IP address be collected or recorded. There are no foreseen ethical concerns in respect to discomforts or risks. You will not be asked to provide the names of the institution(s) you teach with. Several different institutions will be represented in this sample of the larger population. There are no requirements that you complete the survey and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. There are no direct monetary or extrinsic compensations offered for your participation in this survey. You will be asked to consent or to decline your participation before beginning the Online Faculty Training Survey. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this research! Teresa D. Lees Contact information: Teresa D. Lees, [251-654-2248, tdleesl @gmail.com] or Aaron Givan, Ph.D., Dissertation Chair, [701-477-5455, agivan@ncu.edu] IRB Office, [irb@ncu.edu] Please access the Felder and Soloman's Index of Learning Styles questionnaire by clicking on the following link, or you may copy and paste this Web link into the address bar of your web browser: http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html Please access the Online Faculty Training Survey questionnaire by clicking on the following link, or you may copy and paste this Web link into the address bar of your web browser: http://www.surveymonkev.eom/s/onlinefacultytrainingsurvev