CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Martha M. Snyder

Committee Member

Wayne Brown

Committee Member

Timothy J. Ellis

Abstract

Adjunct faculty comprise a large percentage of part-time faculty for many colleges and universities today. Adjunct faculty are hired because they are experts in their content areas; however, this does not guarantee that they are skilled in effective classroom management. These instructors can become bewildered and frustrated because they lack the knowledge and skills that are needed to run an effective classroom.

While educational organizations have adopted blended learning environments as an effective delivery method for their students, this method has not gained much traction as a way to deliver instruction to their own employees. Thus, there are opportunities to use blended learning as a strategy for professional development in the workplace. What is more common in the workplace is the application of knowledge management (KM). KM is used in organizations to identify, share, and validate knowledge in order to improve individual and organizational performance. Blended learning combined with KM strategies, can leverage face-to-face and online instruction delivery methods to give adjunct faculty real-time support as they learn to implement specific instructional methods and classroom management techniques into their face-to-face classrooms.

The goal was to construct and validate a blended learning professional development course for adjunct faculty. Design and development research methods were used to conduct the study in four phases. In phase one, a course design framework that integrated the four modes of the SECI KM model (i.e., socialization, externalization, internalization, and combination) was developed. Included with the framework was a mapping of the learning outcomes, knowledge type, and activities associated with each SECI mode. In phase two, an expert panel reviewed the framework and mapping. The Delphi technique was used to capture panel members’ feedback. Revisions to the framework and mapping were made based on the results of the expert review. In phase three, the framework was used to develop the course within the Desire2Learn learning management system. In phase four, a formative evaluation of the course was conducted using focus groups with key stakeholders including faculty, staff, and administrators.

The sequential nature of the phases in which the professional development course was designed and developed resulted in a refined instantiation of the course, which was received positively by key stakeholders; however, summative and confirmative evaluations would be needed to determine the effectiveness of the course delivery and content, as well as, whether the course is viable over time. The incorporation of the SECI principles for faculty professional development was also determined to be worthy of continued consideration. Future research focusing on the implementation of SECI principles to guide instructional design in various online and blended learning contexts is recommended.