Faculty Perceptions of the Helpfulness and Appropriateness of an Online Faculty Certification Program: A Mixed Methods Study

Shunta' Hailey Gregory, Fayetteville State University


Online learning has become a popular alternative medium among adult learners. Nearly 7 million students in the United States reported taking a distance education course at a degree-granting post-secondary institution (National Center for Education Statistics, 2018). Despite the growing demand for and importance of online learning in higher education, universities and colleges are concerned with preparing faculty to teach online. As a long-term solution to better prepare faculty, the research site examined in this study developed the Online Faculty Certification training (OFCT) course as the primary professional development for online instructors. This concurrent embedded mixed methods study sought to examine the perceptions and experiences of faculty members who completed the Online Faculty Certification Training at a historical black university in the southeastern part of the United States to determine the extent to which the OFCT effectively contributes to the improvement of their ability to design and teach online courses. Data included interviews with the participants, a post-training follow-up survey, and an analysis of existing data. Malcolm Knowles’s Adult Learning Theory and Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Model provided the framework to analyze data. Overall, participants felt the OFCT had success in preparing them to teach online. It is imperative to understand faculty perceptions of online professional development. Recommendations for policy include adopting quality standards for online professional development across the university system, requiring educational leaders who assess online faculty to take the course, and mandating professional development for online instruction prior to faculty who plan to teach online.

Subject Area

Higher education

Recommended Citation

Hailey Gregory, Shunta', "Faculty Perceptions of the Helpfulness and Appropriateness of an Online Faculty Certification Program: A Mixed Methods Study" (2022). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI29064625.