Outlining for Structure and Focus


Action Research Outline

I. Focus

Leveraging technology to provide development and support opportunities for adjunct faculty

II. Purpose

To determine the feasibility and efficacy of implementing  a mentoring and professional learning network toward improving success and retention rates of adjunct faculty

III. Research Question

Can providing support to adjunct faculty through mentoring and professional learning experiences through leveraging learning management system resources improve success and retention rates?

IV. Research Design

The research design will be quantitative and qualitative.
Using data on student retention rates and student success rates for course sections led by adjunct faculty members, baseline data from 2018/2019 academic year will be used as a comparison against subsequent years. (Quantitative)
Topical research, surveys of adjunct faculty, and interviews with adjunct faculty at Odessa College and other institutions will provide attitudes and satisfaction levels of adjunct faculty. (Qualitative)

V. Data to be Collected

Success rates (students earning a grade of C or better in the course) and retention rates (students who complete the course) for students in course sections led by adjunct faculty members will be collected each eight week term and for each long semester. Additional data will be collected on professional learning and mentoring activities provided to adjunct faculty, including length of time spent in those activities. Feedback for professional learning activities, and weekly mentoring journals in the Learning Management System (LMS) will be collected to gauge adjunct faculty satisfaction and attitudes, and will be used for continuous improvement and in the development of professional learning experiences.

VI. Measurement Instrument(s)

Student data (Success and Retention) maintained in Colleague (the Student Information System, or SIS) will be compared to baseline data after each eight-week term and after each sixteen-week semester.
Data on completion of professional learning experiences by adjunct faculty will be tracked through a professional. Also, survey data, and feedback on professional learning experiences and feedback will be collected and analysed to determine if a correlation between support/professional development for adjunct faculty and student success/retention exists.

VII. Focus of Lit Review

The review of literature will use existing research and practices for supporting adjunct faculty at the college level, and will provide an overview of existing programs of support and development for adjunct faculty at other institutions. With focus on reaching adjunct faculty who work remotely, the literature review will address the efficacy of providing support and professional learning experiences using the LMS and other technologies.


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