Developing a Quality Improvement Process to Optimize Faculty Success

Linda Merillat, Monica Scheibmeir


As part of a major shift to embed quality improvement processes within a School of Nursing at a medium-sized Midwestern university, a faculty enrichment program using a Plan-Do-Act-Study design was implemented. A central focus for the program was the development and maintenance of an online faculty resource center identified as “My Faculty Center.” Nursing faculty used the tools in My Faculty Center to assess their baseline skills in the areas of teaching & learning best practices, use of learning management system, and technology. The first goal (Goal 1) of the systematic faculty development program was to measure the impact of the Faculty Enrichment program on overall faculty development with regards to technology. The second goal (Goal 2) was to evaluate the relationship, if any, between faculty development and student evaluations. To meet Goal 2, data from IDEA end-of-course evaluations (IDEA, n.d.) and the skills assessments were correlated. Results indicated that the instructor’s desire to learn more about teaching and learning best practices was positively correlated with students providing higher scores on progress on relevant objectives, perceiving the instructor as an excellent teacher, and the course summary scores. When students rated an instructor as an excellent teacher, that instructor self-reported a higher level of applying skills in using Desire-to-Learn (D2L). Negative correlations were found between the instructor’s self-reported skills with presentation and multimedia tools and the students’ perception of progress toward objectives, excellence of course, and overall course score. Based on the initial results, future professional development will optimize adequate training on the Learning Management System (i.e. D2L), for all faculty, and emphasize the effective use of technology in the classroom.


Professional development, faculty enrichment, faculty portal, course evaluation

Full Text:



Alsharif, N. Z., & Qi, Y. (2014). A Three-Year Study of the Impact of Instructor Attitude, Enthusiasm, and Teaching Style on Student Learning in a Medicinal Chemistry Course. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 78(7), 132. doi: 10.5688/ajpe787132

Apperson, J. M., Laws, E. L., & Scepansky, J. A. (2008). An assessment of student preferences for PowerPoint presentation structure in undergraduate courses. Computers & Education, 50(1), 148-153. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2006.04.003

Appel, S. J., Wadas, T. M., Talley, M. H., & Williams, A. M. (2013). Teaching diagnostic reasoning: Transitioning from a live to a distance accessible online classroom in an Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 3(12), 125-132. doi:10.5430/jnep.v3n12p125

Arah, O. A., Hoekstra, J. B. L., Bos, A. P., Lombarts, K. J. (2011) New tools for systematic evaluation of teaching qualities of medical faculty: Results of an ongoing multi-center survey. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25983. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025983

Badawood, A., Steenkamp, A. L., & Al-Werfalli, D. (2013). A Systematic Approach to Faculty Development - Capability Improvement for Blended Learning. Information Systems Education Journal, 11(3), 101-114.

Baker, D. E. (2003). Online technology teaching model: A pilot test by nursing faculty (Order No. 3085451). Available from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source. (305346456). Retrieved from

Bowen, J. A. (2006). Teaching Naked: Why Removing Technology from your Classroom Will Improve Student Learning. The National Teaching & Learning Forum, 16(1), 1-14. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from

Fuller, R. G. (2006). Faculty practices in successful asynchronous online distance education: A study within health education programs (Order No. 3229303). Available from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source. (305248012). Retrieved from

Gatlin-Watts, R., Arn, J., & Kordsmeier, W. (1999). Multimedia as an Instructional Tool: Perceptions of College Department Chairs. Education, 120(1), 190.

How to Improve. (n.d.) Retrieved January 26, 2016 from

IDEA. (n.d.). Student Ratings of Instruction. Retrieved September 3, 2015, from

Lewis, A.C. (2000). Revisioning professional development: What learner-centered professional development looks like. Washington, D.C.: Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC document reproduction service number ED 443 806).

Malikowski, S., Thompson, M., & Theis, J. (2007). A model for research into course management systems: Bridging technology and learning theory. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 36(2), 149-173.

McDonald, J. (2015, July 20). Multiple comparisons. Retrieved September 3, 2015, from

Merillat, L. (2008). Exploring the history of and the emotional attachment to a teacher tool using a theoretical framework for interactions. Dissertation Abstracts International, 69 (04). (UMI No. 3311319).

Merillat, L. (2011). [Improved Use of Features in Online Courses with Learning Center Based Professional Development]. Unpublished raw data.

Merillat, L. & Scheibmeir, M. (2015). Developing a Systematic Approach for Faculty Enrichment Using Detailed Assessments as a Basis. In Proceedings of Global Learn 2015 (pp. 306-312). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 27, 2015 from

NLN Board of Governors. (2015, January). A VISION FOR the Changing Faculty Role: Preparing Students for the Technology World of Health Care. Retrieved March 31, 2016, from

Nowaczk, R. H., Santos, L. T., & Patton, C. (n.d.). Student perception of multimedia in the undergraduate classroom. International Journal of Instructional Media, 25(4), 367-382. Retrieved January 28, 2016.

Robinia, K. A. (2008). Online teaching self-efficacy of nurse faculty teaching in public, accredited nursing programs in the state of Michigan (Order No. 3316933). Available from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source. (304445650). Retrieved from

Sorensen, B. M. (2015, April 29). Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures — it makes students more stupid and professors more boring. The Conversation. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from

Steinert, Y., Mann, K., Centeno, A., Dolmans, D., Spencer, J., Gelula, M., & Prideaux, D. (2006). A systematic review of faculty development initiatives designed to improve teaching effectiveness in medical education: BEME Guide No. 8. Medical Teacher, 28(6), 497-526.

Tsung Juang, W. (2010). Educational Benefits of Multimedia Skills Training. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 54(1), 47-57. doi:10.1007/s11528-009-0363-x

Wagner, D., & Hulen, K. (2015). Collaborating with an instructional designer to develop a quality learner-engaged online course. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(4), 40-47.

Wilkerson, L., & Irby, D. M. (1998). Strategies for improving teaching practice: A comprehensive approach to faculty development. Academic Medicine, 73(4), 387-196.

Woods, R., Baker, J., & Hopper, D. (2004). Hybrid structures: Faculty use and perception of web-based courseware as a supplement to face-to-face instruction. Internet and Higher Education, 7, 281-297.


Copyright (c) 2016 Online Learning Journal