Monday, March 30, 2009

A Fellow Instructor Needs Some Help

An Exploratory Study of Best Online Teaching Practices in Undergraduate Higher Education Degree Programs of For-profit Institutions

Greetings Faculty Member:

Rufina E. Butler is a doctoral student at Northcentral University majoring in Higher Education Leadership. She is conducting a web-based survey for her dissertation research investigating best online teaching practices of undergraduate faculty at for-profit institutions, and their perceptions of online undergraduate degree programs offered at for-profit institutions. To achieve this purpose, this research will explore faculty’s beliefs of what characteristics of best practices in teaching online exist, investigate the relationships of these characteristics with the best practices adapted by Keeton, Scheckley & Krecji-Griggs, 2002, and provide a framework to understand the characteristics of teaching undergraduate online programs at for-profit institutions. Much of the distance learning research has been devoted to comparative studies of distance and traditional classroom education, and is with the assumption that traditional education is the ideal mode of educational delivery and serves as the gold standard against which all other forms of alternative education should be measured.

The lack of documented evidence of best practice models in for-profit institutions offering programs 100 percent online has prompted this study. With the continued growth of online programs and for-profit institutions, there is a need to identify best practices in teaching online at for-profit institutions and what best practice characteristics contribute to effective teaching.

Rufina is seeking faculty who teach online distance learning and who have taught at for-profit institutions to complete a survey. Your participation will be extremely valuable in examining best practices. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary. The results of the survey can be submitted to any faculty wishing a copy. Possible benefits of this research include contributing a better understanding of online faculty members’ pedagogical philosophies about for-profit institutions online/distance learning programs and what elements of best practices currently exists.

The survey will require approximately 15 minutes to complete, and is completely anonymous. The survey will expire ___April 15, 2009 ______. Please make sure you have time to complete the survey as partial responses are not counted. The survey can be accessed at . Please contact the survey administrator, Rufina E. Butler at or her Committee Chair/advisor, Dr. Linda Gaughan at, if you have questions.

Thanks for your assistance!

Rufina E. Butler
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Education
Northcentral University

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