Faculty Uses of and Attitudes toward a Course Management System in Improving Instruction
Vivian H. Wright
The University of Alabama
The investigators in this study were interested in knowing how faculty uses of a course management system (CMS) helps improve content and instruction, and how faculty attitudes may help or hinder that effort. Seven faculty members were interviewed and the texts were coded and analyzed qualitatively. From the analysis, the investigators derived five main categories concerning the use of a CMS: faculty motivations; benefits; perspectives; differing class formats; and issues and needs. Results of this study show that communication and organization play key roles in course improvement, that a university’s commitment and support is critical in securing faculty involvement, that discussion boards and student tracking may be the primary non-assessment methods for determining student learning, that bottom-up pressure from students desiring content online is more important than pressure from above, and that the 'extended class' (24/7 access) may be the most important feature of an online class component.