Title

Inspirational Professional Development: How Online Adjunct Faculty Re-Engaged in Scholarship and Evolved Into Scholarly Leaders

Location

DeSantis Room 1054

Format Type

Plenary

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

17-1-2020 1:15 PM

End Date

17-1-2020 1:35 PM

Abstract

The new potential for online collaborative research that reaches across cultural and geographical borders may open a new age of research. However, engaging online adjunct faculty into continuous scholarly missions remains a challenge in online higher education. Narrative analysis of faculty stories revealed themes that enhance addressing the challenge. The purpose of this narrative inquiry research study was to capture and describe the perceptions of adjunct faculty members, who joined technology supported, collaborative research teams after a period of being disengaged from research studies. The Research question was: How did the participation in online collaborative research teams engage online adjunct faculty members in continuous scholarly ventures? A narrative inquiry research design is aligned with sensemaking process theory as participant narratives revealed key steps in developing a retrospective understanding of the collaborative research team experience. This presentation shares inspirational evolution of some adjunct faculty into scholarly leaders. The purposive sample of fifteen adjunct faculty members were selected on the basis of participation in an online, collaborative research team that successfully published within two years of inception. Faculty who re-engaged in scholarship by joining technology supported collaborative research teams reported a renewed passion for learning, stronger professional relationships, a sense of membership in a community of practice, and acquisition of knowledge and skills. The study findings will have significance for all who support higher levels of scholarship in the classrooms of online higher education. The presentation will include a PPT and end with question and answer session.

Keywords

Higher Education, online learning, distance learning, collaborative research, Community of Practice

Comments

*Context* In the early 21st century, use of technology supports small, collaborative research teams that work across institutional and geographical boundaries regardless of individual placement in space and time (Eddy & Garza Mitchell, 2012). The new potential for online collaborative research that reaches across cultural and geographical borders may open a new age of research (Kosmützky, 2018).

Broad Problem* The structure and inner workings of successful teams are not well understood, and more research is needed to assure continued development (Seongkyoon & Jae Young, 2015). Specifically, more research is needed to understand how these small, collaborative teams are working for faculty members in fields where team research has been rare. These disciplines include the humanities, higher education, and social sciences where research is developed and published by individuals (Kosmützky, 2018).

Adjunct faculty members have few opportunities to participate in n research teams (Dailey-Hebert, Norris, Mandernach, & Donnelli-Sallee, 2014); and, increasingly large numbers of faculty members are working as adjuncts or on a contingent basis (Eddy & Garza Mitchell, 2012; Schieffer, 2016). Failing to participate in collaborative research teams means foregoing important opportunities to develop new skills and make new contacts (Misra, Smith-Doerr, Dasgupta[, Weaver, & Normanly, 2017).

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Jan 17th, 1:15 PM Jan 17th, 1:35 PM

Inspirational Professional Development: How Online Adjunct Faculty Re-Engaged in Scholarship and Evolved Into Scholarly Leaders

DeSantis Room 1054

The new potential for online collaborative research that reaches across cultural and geographical borders may open a new age of research. However, engaging online adjunct faculty into continuous scholarly missions remains a challenge in online higher education. Narrative analysis of faculty stories revealed themes that enhance addressing the challenge. The purpose of this narrative inquiry research study was to capture and describe the perceptions of adjunct faculty members, who joined technology supported, collaborative research teams after a period of being disengaged from research studies. The Research question was: How did the participation in online collaborative research teams engage online adjunct faculty members in continuous scholarly ventures? A narrative inquiry research design is aligned with sensemaking process theory as participant narratives revealed key steps in developing a retrospective understanding of the collaborative research team experience. This presentation shares inspirational evolution of some adjunct faculty into scholarly leaders. The purposive sample of fifteen adjunct faculty members were selected on the basis of participation in an online, collaborative research team that successfully published within two years of inception. Faculty who re-engaged in scholarship by joining technology supported collaborative research teams reported a renewed passion for learning, stronger professional relationships, a sense of membership in a community of practice, and acquisition of knowledge and skills. The study findings will have significance for all who support higher levels of scholarship in the classrooms of online higher education. The presentation will include a PPT and end with question and answer session.