Distance education plays an important role in broadening educational access and increasing higher educational opportunities. The success, however, for any distance education initiative relies on a critical and core resource, namely having participating faculty who provide quality instruction. This study uses survey design and diffusion of innovation theory to examine faculty participation in relation to their technology use, their attitudes toward technology and distance education, and their adoption of innovations at a public postsecondary 10-campus system. Ordinal regression analysis identified 20 significant variables (16 predictors representing the four latent dimensions of the conceptual model and four demographic characteristics) that explain faculty participation in distance education. The findings identify a number of core issues underlying faculty participation and non-participation in distance education which pose implications for policy and practice relevant to technology use and skills, training and development, course design and technical support, quality issues, and workload and compensation.
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Research examining response rates for paper- and web-based surveys have shown mixed results. While most studies show paper surveys generate a higher response (Carini et al. 2003; Hogarty et al. 2003; Layne et al. 1999), other studies indicate the opposite with web surveys garnering higher returns (Beebe et al. 2007; McCabe et al. 2006).
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The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Ronald H. Heck, professor, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, for his assistance with the data analysis.
An earlier version of this study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association Chicago, Illinois, April 2007.
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Tabata, L.N., Johnsrud, L.K. The Impact of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology, Distance Education, and Innovation. Res High Educ 49, 625 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-008-9094-7
- Distance education
- Technology use
- Ordinal regression
- Diffusion of innovation theory
- Institutional policy