Attracting Faculty to Online Teaching: Readiness Assessment Tools

Attracting Faculty to Online Teaching: Readiness Assessment Tools

Synopsis: A collection of resources and tools designed to assess faculty readiness in a way that will attract them to online teaching.
My colleagues at Northern Virginia Community College developed one of the first, if not the first, survey instrument to assess student readiness for online learning ("Is ELI [Distance Learning] for Me?") in 1992. This instrument was made available for public use and was used by many other institutions and organizations.

Now there are hundreds of such survey instruments for assessing student readiness. Some time ago, in part as a result of the action research project I did to figure out why skeptical faculty became avid converts to online teaching, I got interested in finding similar instruments for assessing faculty readiness for online teaching. However, I could only one such survey, a self-evaluation survey from While it's fine as far as it goes, the survey IMO is more of a screening device; its questions focus on faculty computer skills assessment, experience and qualifications, attitudes, habits, training and commitment. In other words, it's mostly stick and not much carrot.

So I started to explore the question, what if a faculty readiness survey was designed to attract faculty instead, with questions like: "Does this aspect of online teaching interest you?" "Would doing x, y, or z sound attractive to you?"

The result is this ongoing collection of resources designed to help interested parties develop readiness assessment surveys and tools which would attract faculty to online teaching. The current step (1/07) in this process is to post my resources online and make them available to interested parties (see below for links to related resources).

The next step will be to see if I can start a community of practitioners who are interested in helping to improve, test, evaluate these tools for the general betterment of the online learning community. Suggestions for how best to do this (wiki? blog? some other tool I haven't caught up with yet?) are welcome.

Resources to download and view:
Powerpoint presentation on Assessing Faculty Readiness Attractively (from 2006 Sloan-C Conference)

List of faculty motivation factors (source for survey questions) (acmotivfactors.pdf)

Sample draft survey "Is Online Teaching for You" illustrating what such a survey might look like (isolt4u.pdf)

Research references on faculty motivation (facmotivrefs.pdf)

facmotivrefs.pdf89.66 KB
isolt4u.pdf52.95 KB
facmotivfactors.pdf75.61 KB