Chuck Dziuban, director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Central Florida (UCF), tells of viewing a description of a professor on the popular website RateMyProfessors.com. “This guy’s so boring my pillow needs a pillow,” the student wrote, in a comment that is highly quotable, appearing in numerous professor evaluations across numerous institutions on the site. And while this comment is entertaining, student satisfaction is a critical indicator of quality in education.
It is becoming more common to hear people, especially administrators, talk about “faculty buy-in” when it comes to online education. I would say that this is for good reason. I’ve been an online administrator for the past seven years and know firsthand the importance of having faculty backing and support for online education initiatives.
Colleges and universities typically plan their programs to include a specific mix of online and on-ground classes; the plan typically includes all of one or the other type or a “blend” of the two. This allows the institution to have greater control over which students are completing part or all of their classes online, thus giving them the chance to provide introductory training to these students that may help them succeed in their studies.