Online adjunct higher education teachers’ perceptions of using social media sites as instructional approaches

Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how online adjunct higher education faculty members perceive the role of using social media sites as instructional approaches. A purposeful sampling was used, and adjunct online higher education faculty members were invited to participate. An adjunct faculty member was defined as a person who taught part-time higher education courses; therefore, the faculty member was not hired as a full-time faculty member. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative researchers explore phenomena examining the lived experiences and participants behaviors; in this study, online adjunct instructors’ perceptions on classroom instructional social media online approaches were examined. Participants in this study were trained to teach higher education online courses and these teachers were the experts on the topic. The design for this study was an exploratory case study in which the participants were online adjunct instructors who taught at online higher education institutions in the Northeast. The case study approach was the most appropriate. The focus was the external events participants’ lives. Findings – Three themes emerged from the analysis of the in-depth interview process. Based on the adjunct online higher education instructors’ perception on the use of social media teaching approaches in the classroom, the themes that emerged were uniformity of purpose vs personal beliefs need for justification importance student engagement and facilitation vs direct instruction. Themes reflected online teaching approaches higher education institutional missions and student learning and engagement outcomes. Research limitations/implications – In this study, adjuncts’ perceptions expressed and themes found may not be characteristic of other adjunct instructors’ views. In qualitative studies, participants are asked open-ended interview questions, which may have been a limitation for this study. Quantitative questions, such as the impact of using social media as an instructional approach, were not asked. In this study, adjunct online higher education instructors were invited to share their views on the study topic. Additionally, qualitative researchers are limited by the data collection method and the data analysis process. Therefore, researchers who would like to repeat this study on adjunct online higher education teachers’ perspectives may be unable to duplicate the research. Practical implications – The significance of this study is the need for a renewed global initiative in higher education to promote the use of social media training for online adjunct faculty members. Online higher education faculty members’ reflections on using social media tend to be recorded from a personal rather than a professional point of view. Social implications – The implication for online higher education leaders is to review mission statements and reevaluate how the use of social media may impact student learning outcomes, student career readiness and student engagement opportunities. Originality/value – The need for a renewed global initiative in higher education to promote the use of social media training for online adjunct faculty evolved as the significance of the study. Because inclusion requirements and workshop training for the use of social media in online higher education classrooms vary among higher education institutions, online adjunct faculty social media classroom practices and perceptions widely vary. Keywords Social media, Higher education online adjunct faculty, Perceptions on using social media, Qualitative descriptive design Paper type Research paper Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning Emerald Publishing Limited 2397-7604 DOI 10.1108/JRIT-02-2018-0005 Received 26 February 2018 Revised 26 February 2018 Accepted 11 March 2019 The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2397-7604.htm © Barbara Case Fedock, Melissa McCartney and Douglas Neeley. Published in Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http:// creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

Abstract: 

Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how online adjunct higher education faculty members perceive the role of using social media sites as instructional approaches. A purposeful sampling was used, and adjunct online higher education faculty members were invited to participate. An adjunct faculty member was defined as a person who taught part-time higher education courses; therefore, the faculty member was not hired as a full-time faculty member. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative researchers explore phenomena examining the lived experiences and participants behaviors; in this study, online adjunct instructors’ perceptions on classroom instructional social media online approaches were examined. Participants in this study were trained to teach higher education online courses and these teachers were the experts on the topic. The design for this study was an exploratory case study in which the participants were online adjunct instructors who taught at online higher education institutions in the Northeast. The case study approach was the most appropriate. The focus was the external events participants’ lives. Findings – Three themes emerged from the analysis of the in-depth interview process. Based on the adjunct online higher education instructors’ perception on the use of social media teaching approaches in the classroom, the themes that emerged were uniformity of purpose vs personal beliefs need for justification importance student engagement and facilitation vs direct instruction. Themes reflected online teaching approaches higher education institutional missions and student learning and engagement outcomes. Research limitations/implications – In this study, adjuncts’ perceptions expressed and themes found may not be characteristic of other adjunct instructors’ views. In qualitative studies, participants are asked open-ended interview questions, which may have been a limitation for this study. Quantitative questions, such as the impact of using social media as an instructional approach, were not asked. In this study, adjunct online higher education instructors were invited to share their views on the study topic. Additionally, qualitative researchers are limited by the data collection method and the data analysis process. Therefore, researchers who would like to repeat this study on adjunct online higher education teachers’ perspectives may be unable to duplicate the research. Practical implications – The significance of this study is the need for a renewed global initiative in higher education to promote the use of social media training for online adjunct faculty members. Online higher education faculty members’ reflections on using social media tend to be recorded from a personal rather than a professional point of view. Social implications – The implication for online higher education leaders is to review mission statements and reevaluate how the use of social media may impact student learning outcomes, student career readiness and student engagement opportunities. Originality/value – The need for a renewed global initiative in higher education to promote the use of social media training for online adjunct faculty evolved as the significance of the study. Because inclusion requirements and workshop training for the use of social media in online higher education classrooms vary among higher education institutions, online adjunct faculty social media classroom practices and perceptions widely vary. Keywords Social media, Higher education online adjunct faculty, Perceptions on using social media, Qualitative descriptive design Paper type Research paper Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning Emerald Publishing Limited 2397-7604 DOI 10.1108/JRIT-02-2018-0005 Received 26 February 2018 Revised 26 February 2018 Accepted 11 March 2019 The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2397-7604.htm © Barbara Case Fedock, Melissa McCartney and Douglas Neeley. Published in Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http:// creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Authors: 
Douglas Keith Neeley, Ph.D.
Dr. Barbara Fedock
Melissa McCartney
Year of Publication: 
2019
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning
Date Published: 
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Publication Language: 
English
Boyer's Domain: 

Additional content will be provided upon request.