Online Faculty Learning Communities for Part-Time Faculty
The Future of Faculty Development at a Regional University
Keywords:online faculty learning communities (OFLCs), faculty development, part-time faculty in the Caribbean
Although there is a significant body of research that highlights the benefits of faculty development, part-time faculty may not have opportunities to participate in sustained, on campus faculty development activities. This paper explores the creation of online faculty learning communities (OFLCs) to address the developmental needs of part-time faculty at a multi-campus, regional university. A critical review design was employed which examined the potential benefits, barriers, and technology toolsets needed for the implementation of OFLCs. The analysis revealed that OFLCs can provide sustained technical and teaching support for part-time faculty; however, barriers such as buy-in, attrition, scheduling conflicts, and competence in the use of technology may impact widespread adoption. Recommendations are presented which serve as a call to action for the creation and fostering of OFLCs at the regional institution.