How instructors influence faculty satisfaction in online teaching

By Rajalakshmi Rahul on March 21, 2012

The success of online education program depends upon the level of satisfaction of faculty. Measuring the level of satisfaction of faculty is important in assessing the effectiveness of any online teaching. The factors that determine level of satisfaction of faculty begin from evaluation at individual level.  There are several factors related to the instructor or faculty that determine the satisfaction level of faculty.

The first determinant of faculty satisfaction is the experience offered by online teaching to the faculty. Research conducted by Sloan Consortium (2006) has identified that faculties are highly satisfied if the online teaching experiences are good from both professional and personal perspective.  Online education must reward them personally and benefit them professionally. The personal factors that influence the level of satisfaction of faculty who impart online education are the opportunities that the teaching offers them in interacting with newer student communities, conducting and publishing research work related to online teaching and learning and finally developing themselves professionally (ADEC, n.d). On the other hand Mishra and Panda (2007) identify the interest of faculty in using online technology for teaching; interest of faculty in meeting intellectual challenges and self gratification as three different factors that influence satisfaction level of faculty. Similarly rewards, support and institutional research have been identified as the determinants of faculty satisfaction by Rockwell (1999). Bower (2001), argues that the level of satisfaction of faculty is intensified when the institution supports the members of faculty with a well maintained and robust technical framework, online instructional skills training and administrative assistance and ongoing technical in conducting online teaching. Besides, Bower (2001), points out that the instructors also expect them to be included as a part of quality assurance team that govern the online programs such that they can involve themselves in developing policies and curriculum that are specific to online teaching environment. Satisfaction level of faculty, according to Passmore (2000), is closely associated with the reward system of the institution which identifies the value and rigor of online teaching. The level of satisfaction of faculty develops when work load assessments or assignments reflect the time that the faculties commit themselves in preparing curriculum for online courses and teaching them.

Fredericksen et al., 2000; argues that the level of satisfaction of faculty increases with the exhibition of positive outcomes by students who learnt online. In other words, the faculties who teach online are highly satisfied if the students who learn from them exhibit positive performance in examinations and assessments. Besides, Betts (1998), argues that online teaching that offers opportunities to faculties to collaborate and research with their colleagues improves their levels of satisfaction.  In addition to that Betts (1998) also points out that the instructors expect the educational institutions to offer technology and infrastructure that is highly reliable and less prone to failures. When the instructors experience difficulties in accessing technology or adequate tools that are necessary to impart online teaching their levels of satisfaction is likely to deteriorate.


  • American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC). (n.d.). Quality framework for online  education. Lincoln, NE: Author. Retrieved  March 15, 2012, from
  • Bower, B.L. (2001). Distance education: Facing the faculty challenge. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 4(2). Retrieved January 15, 2011, from∼distance/ojdla/summer42/bower42.html
  • Fredericksen, E., Pickett, A., Shea, P., Pelz, W., & Swan, K. (2000). Factors influencingfaculty satisfaction with asynchronous teaching and learning in the SUNY learning network. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 4(3) 245–278. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from
  • Passmore, D.L. (2000). Impediments to adoption of web-based course delivery amonguniversity faculty. ALN Magazine, 4(2). Retrieved March 15, 2012, from
  • Panda, S., & Mishra, S. (2007). E-learning in a mega open university: Faculty attitude, barriers and motivators. Educational Media International, 44(4), 323–338
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