Supporting Online Faculty through a Sense of Community and Collegiality

Aimee LaPointe Terosky, Chris Heasley


In this qualitative study, we examine the experiences of seven tenure-track and non-tenure track current/future online faculty through the conceptual lenses of sense of community (McMillan & Chavis, 1986) and collegiality (Gappa, Austin, & Trice, 2007). We found: (1) participants reported that their sense of community and collegiality around online course development and teaching was lacking, (2) participants’ communities for online teaching, if available, primarily focused on technical support, and (3) participants desired greater community and collegiality for philosophical and psychological concerns with the medium of online teaching. We conclude with recommendations for practice for online faculty professional growth.


Online faculty; sense of community; collegiality; professional development

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