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Report from Learning House and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Reveals Training and Development of Faculty Teaching Online Is Inconsistent

The survey of Chief Academic Officers finds opportunities to create a transformative and unified online learning experience for students.


Today, online and hybrid courses comprise 38 percent of the courses offered at AASCU institutions, and despite an overall decline in higher education enrollment, the number of online students continues to increase

The leading online program manager (OPM), Learning House, a Wiley brand, today announced the release of Online Learning at Public Universities, a report in collaboration with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Based on previous joint research, finding and equipping faculty members to teach online courses is one of the greatest concerns facing AASCU member institutions. The latest report surveyed 95 AASCU Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) to examine how institutions recruit and train online faculty. These participants represent a quarter of the AASCU membership.

“Today, online and hybrid courses comprise 38 percent of the courses offered at AASCU institutions, and despite an overall decline in higher education enrollment, the number of online students continues to increase,” said Dr. George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change of AASCU. “To meet this demand, institutions are rapidly developing and deploying online courses, but the level of faculty support varies widely, ultimately impacting the quality of both the faculty and student experience.”

This report explores the overall landscape of online learning and is focused on five key findings:

1. Online and blended learning is significant at AASCU institutions, with 67 percent of courses taught by full-time faculty. Ninety-eight percent of those full-time faculty members are expected to teach online courses as part of their regular workload.

2. Training and development of faculty who teach online is not consistently mandated, and 45 percent of this required training is focused primarily on LMS or technology use instead of best practices around instructing online. Additionally, faculty contracts can sometimes prevent the mandating of training and development opportunities.

3. Evaluation of faculty who teach online is not universal, though 90 percent of faculty do receive student feedback at the end of each course. Seventy percent of supervisors evaluate faculty annually, and 18 percent do so once per term, however peer-to-peer evaluations are rare.

4. Faculty engagement with online learners is often not defined by set policy, and many AASCU institutions lack a formal, defined policy for faculty member’s interactions with online students, which could include how often faculty must post on message boards, or how quickly they must respond to a student post.

5. Concerns surround the hiring of adjunct faculty, despite the fact that 55 percent of undergraduate general education courses are taught by adjunct faculty members. Seventy-three percent of AASCU institutions turn to adjunct faculty to deliver online courses due to the flexibility to allows for addressing variations in enrollment.

“As a leading data-driven OPM, we understand the importance of standardizing a high-quality online learning experience for students who are often forced to adapt to marked differences in their various courses,” said Todd Zipper, Co-President of Wiley Education Services and Learning House, a Wiley brand. “We also recognize that faculty needs institutional support, defined policies and processes in order to build and implement these online programs. We hope this report can help universities develop engaging online courses that result in increased completion rates.”

For more information and to download the report, visit:

About Wiley 
Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company’s website can be accessed at

About Learning House 
Learning House, a Wiley brand, helps people improve their lives through education. As a complement to the technology-enabled education solutions offered by Wiley Education Services, we partner with more than 60 institutions across the US, Europe, and Australia, and support over 600 degree programs. Additional solutions include Enterprise Learning Solutions, The Software Guild, Learning House International and Advancement Courses. Through our broad portfolio, Learning House, a Wiley brand, delivers more students, more graduates, and better outcomes. For more information visit

About the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) 
AASCU is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of about 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All. For more information, visit.

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