Management of Time and Workload In Distant Education

Nurses Educator 2

Distant  Education and Management of Time and Workload

Management of Time and Workload In Distant  Education

 Development and Preparation Time In Distant Learning,Compensation and Workload In Distant Education,Promotion and Tenure In Distant Learning,Library Services for Distant Learners In Nursing Education.

Development and Preparation Time In Distant Learning

    As the number of course offerings taught online in higher education has increased, so has discussion regarding additional responsibilities of faculty who teach these courses. Pachnowski and Jurczyk (2003) measured the effect that teaching in a distance learning environment had on a faculty's time and teaching and the influence that teaching in that environment should have on load policy and reward. 

    All of the participants reported that they had extra preparation time (due to technology) to prepare for a semester course. Fifty percent of the teachers reported that they spent more than 30 hours in preparation for the first semester they taught the course. The data showed that as faculty members progressed through each semester, they required less preparation time beyond what would be expected from a traditional classroom course. 

    There were still one third of faculty who required a significant amount of preparation time in the second, third, or fourth time teaching a Web-based course. The amount of technology training required by faculty decreased each semester. The results of this study indicate that faculty who engage in Web-based teaching may require some accommodations during the first semester that a course is taught, due to the additional time it takes to prepare the course for conversion to online. 

    Administrators could use the data from this study to develop faculty load strategies that would provide additional preparation time for faculty during the initial semesters of teaching a distance course. 

Compensation and Workload In Distant Education

    Concerns about faculty workload have been reported regarding participation in online teaching. There is a perception that online courses require more development and preparation time for the instructor, compared with traditional classroom instruction. This has not been consistently documented in the literature related to online learning. Some faculty find that the time spent teaching online is not actually greater, but the “chunking” or flow of tasks online is different, which results in a sense that less productive time is available for other teaching responsibilities. 

    For example, the expectation that faculty members reply to student messages several times daily means that the uninterrupted time necessary for research and other scholarly works no longer exists. It is important for faculty to identify strategies that could be used to decrease workload in online courses (Thompson, 2004).

    A 1997 survey conducted by the RAND Institute (as cited in Palloff & Pratt, 1999) indicated that courses delivered online can actually decrease central administrative costs while reaching out to students who otherwise may not have had access to the university. Although on campus resources may be saved, there are the additional costs of technology, transmission, maintenance, and technical support. 

    The idea that the larger the class, the greater the return does not apply to the electronic classroom. Palloff and Pratt wrote that it is essential to limit class size when delivering online courses. They proposed that given the lower costs involved in delivery, class sizes can be kept small without reducing revenue. These authors also addressed the issue of course fees. 

    Many universities charge the same fees for face-to-face and online learners. Online learners sometimes complain about this, because they do not see the direct costs involved with online learning. Students who learn in this environment need to see a high degree of involvement by faculty and technical support. Providing online learning may not be less expensive for institutions.

    Even though the total time commitment in teaching online courses may fall within reasonable expectations, the instructor needs to be online and available to students each day, unlike live courses that meet between one and three times a week. Participating in and grading online discussions takes the greatest amount of time, but the discussions show that the students post four to five times as many messages as the instructor does. 

    Students have more opportunities to respond to and interact in online courses than they do in traditional lecture courses (Lazarus, 2003). Students in online courses expect faculty to be more readily and promptly available in responding to student's communications (Keeton, 2004). 

    Compensation and workload policies are needed to address the additional time it takes for faculty to develop and teach online courses. Even though a number of studies have shown that faculty who choose to teach online do so for personal or intrinsic rewards rather than monetary rewards, adequate compensation is needed to support and retain faculty who have agreed to take on this challenge. 

Promotion and Tenure In Distant Learning

    Faculty have found that the traditional role comprised of teaching, scholarship, and service has been affected by the introduction of technology into the classroom. The promotion and tenure system in most institutions of higher learning values research and scholarly publication above other faculty activities. Tenure status and academic rank have an effect on the adoption of distance education (Jones, Linder, Murphy, & Dooley, 2002; Schifter, 2002). 

    Faculty at the academic rank of instructor or assistant professor and nontenured are more comfortable and competent with technology needed to implement distance education (Jones et al., 2002). Faculty in these categories are often discouraged from participating in distance education, because of promotion and tenure concerns. Preparing for and teaching distance education is very time-consuming and it may take away from research time. 

    Therefore, younger and less senior faculty may be reluctant to participate, due to potential implications of lack of time for research and other scholarly work. More experienced tenured faculty may benefit the most from training in the use of instructional technologies. Restructuring the promotion and tenure system may attract a wider range of faculty who will make the commitment to online learning. 

Library Services for Distant Learners In Nursing Education

    Surveys on library usage indicate that library users, including distance learners, are interested in technology and the use of computers to pursue knowledge. As access to information through electronic means increases, the learning environment is becoming more technologically complex (Derlin & Erazo, 1997). The transition to technology assisted instruction brings new challenges to library services. There is a debate on how much reliance there should be on printed media. 

    How will electronic equipment be preserved in the case of system failure? How much space should be devoted to storing information (digital or physical)? The librarian's role in the future may be one of information specialist, who can provide guidance on use of library technology and access of information from various locations. Librarians will also collaborate with faculty to develop learning activities for distance learners. Copyright and fair use policies will be challenged and revised as technology continues to develop.

    Faculty involved in online education report that finding information has become both easier and more difficult with the use of technology: easier because access to information across the world is now possible through a variety of search tools; more difficult because of the vast amount of information available on the Web. Faculty have a general lack of knowledge about electronic resources and services and the range of databases available to them (Jankowska, 2004).

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!