I have been hyper-focused on narrowing down my research, to really pinpoint what my innovation plan needs to say and do. In this section, I have been assessing the multitudes of research I have encountered over the topic of supporting and providing learning opportunities for our part-time faculty, and trying to assess the validity of each article… of each method or strategy used.
So far, the research I have found concurs with my theory. Adjunct faculty need certain basic elements to ensure that they remain productive and successful, and to promote their satisfaction. Some of those basic elements include:
- Acculturation and inclusion. Part-time faculty, even those considered free-lance faculty who work at multiple institutions, need to understand and become part of the culture of the institution to help them relate to their learners and their colleagues. Because they are often experts in their industry, or they have a wealth of information on their subject matter and strategies for delivery, they also need to be included as part of the departmental team, with the ability to make suggestsions regarding curriculum.
- They need to be held accountable to the standards of the institution. The learners need and deserve to have the same levels of quality regardless of the teaching status of the instructor.
- They need to have access to professional learning opportunities, to help them achieve institutional goals and outcomes, to ensure they are providing a quality learning experience to the students, and to allow them to continue to develop and hone their skills in the classroom (both face-to-face and online).
- They to be have a contact person that can serve as a mentor, providing guidance, answering questions, and ensuring they are aware of timelines for each term and any deadlines that are imposed.
As I have researched this topic, I have worked to develop an action research plan that will support the innovations I would like to implement. Click on the links below to see progress toward the development of the action research plan.