Investigation of early career faculty members' teaching related needs and evaluation of an online environment designed to support the instructional development of prospective faculty

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012




The purpose of this study was to explore early-career faculty’s needs on teaching related issues and examine the effectiveness of an online environment that was designed as a support to a graduate course on teaching in higher education. The study was carried out through two phases including a needs analysis and evaluation of the online environment. Findings of the needs analysis were used as input data in designing the online environment. An exploratory mixed design was employed to investigate graduate assistants’ perceptions about the effectiveness of the online environment in general, and the components specifically. Results of the first phase revealed that early-career faculty (n=53) were highly willing to participate in faculty instructional development activities, mostly through workshops and internet-based systems. Having students’ active participation into class was found to be one of the biggest concerns of new faculty. The second phase of the study provided descriptive data related to graduate assistants’ (n=10) use of an online environment incorporating a discussion forum, exemplary V teaching case and informative videos. Interaction with people from different academic fields helped the graduate assistants to experience and gain different perspectives about teaching. The graduate course itself raised graduate assistants’ awareness with regard to the teaching aspect of their profession. Online components generally provided the graduate assistants with different perspectives on teaching, and contemplate their future teaching. Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that online technologies have a potential to support faculty instructional development through incorporating visual media and communication tools.