Prof. Zahner Jane (Valdosta State University)
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Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instructional Technology at Valdosta State University in the southern U.S. state of Georgia have been involved in distance education for many years, and full online course delivery since 1998. We have evidence that our programs and courses have resulted in e-learning for our students. However, we are equally sure that, as faculty, we will never arrive at the destination of knowing everything we need to know about online design, development, utilization, management and evaluation. Lifelong and constant learning is truly necessary for success and survival as an online instructor. How does an individual faculty member continue to improve his or her skill in teaching online? While professional development training is sometimes available, it generally cannot address the specific needs of a faculty member at the specific time of need. Self-study is a more common approach, supporting and reinforcing the additional duties of a faculty member is doing and presenting research. This lecture will present a sampler of the research and professional development topics that have been my focus over the past several years. Viewed together, these topics demonstrate how professional development needs and faculty research interests go hand in hand over time. The topics have been driven by my need to know and do in order to teach effectively and efficiently at a distance.