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Incentives and Obstacles Influencing Higher Education Faculty and Administrators to Teach Via Distance

Incentives and Obstacles Influencing Higher Education Faculty and Administrators to Teach Via Distance

This paper was published in the Online Journal of Distance Education Administration, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter 1999. This study examined incentives that encourage faculty to develop educational opportunities via distance and obstacles that discourage them from doing so. The primary incentives centered on intrinsic or personal rewards. These rewards included opportunities to provide innovative instruction and apply new teaching techniques as well as self-gratification, fulfilling a personal desire to teach, recognition of their work, and peer recognition. Other incentives included extending educational opportunities beyond the traditional institutional walls so place-bound students have access and release time for faculty preparation. The major perceived obstacles related to time requirements, developing effective technology skills, and assistance and support needs. Monetary awards for faculty and the cost to the student were seen as neither incentives nor obstacles. Faculty were divided on how they saw distance teaching affecting their yearly evaluation process and their promotion/tenure needs; about 40% saw it as an incentive, while about 30% saw it as an obstacle.

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