Peer Course Review as a Means to Support Adjunct Faculty in an Online Program

By Thomas Simonds, S.J., Barbara Brock and Max Engel.

Published by The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 30, 2016 $US5.00

Adjunct faculty teaching in online university programs face unique challenges. In this research study, we used a survey and interviews to explore whether a peer course-review process would help meet some of the unique challenges that adjuncts experience. We also explored whether the ERG theory, developed by Clayton Alderfer, would provide an explanation for adjunct levels of satisfaction with teaching. Eight faculty teaching online at Creighton University participated in this study—four adjunct and four full-time faculty members. We found that the peer-review process assisted adjunct and full-time faculty with improving online teaching, and the process also facilitated much needed communication between all eight faculty members. This study does not confirm the explanatory value of Alderfer’s ERG theory. However, we make suggestions as to how the ERG theory could prove to be helpful for understanding the challenges encountered by adjunct professors who teach in online university programs.

Keywords: Peer Course Review, Adjunct Faculty, Part-time Faculty, Non-tenure-track Faculty, Online Teaching, ERG Theory, Satisfaction

The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 30, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 457.146KB)).

Dr. Thomas Simonds, S.J.

Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Barbara Brock

Professor, Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Leadership, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Max Engel

Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA