Learners’ Perceptions of Adjunct Teaching Effectiveness in Grenada: A Qualitative Case Study

Date
2021
Authors
Francis-Charles, Lisa
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Abstract
There is a growing trend of hiring adjunct faculty around the world. Research supports some adjunct professors portray less effective teaching practices than full-time counterparts. Learners’ perspectives are important for evaluating the effectiveness of adjunct faculty teaching. The problem is learners’ perspectives are rarely used as an impetus for developing the teaching effectiveness of adjunct professors. A qualitative explanatory case study methodology was chosen to explore learners’ perceptions of the teaching effectiveness of adjunct professors of practice in a small urban community college in Grenada. The literature revealed a gap in learners’ perceptions of the factors and characteristics contributing to the effective teaching of adjunct faculty. Qualitative research was appropriate for exploring participants’ in-depth perspectives of the research topic. Academic leaders may use the results from the study to inform adjunct professional development initiatives. Knowles’s theory of andragogy and Burns’s transformational leadership theory guided the study. Individual interviews, a qualitative questionnaire, and a focus group discussion were utilized as the data collection instruments. A sample of 15 participants was drawn from graduates and students of part-time 2-year degree programs. Data were analyzed using the constant comparison analysis coding method. The results of the study revealed teaching effectiveness for adjunct professors of practice means exerting inspirational influence; understanding the adult learner; creating a conducive learning environment; and demonstrating the qualities of care, enthusiasm, and professionalism. Keywords: adjunct faculty, professors of practice, teaching effectiveness, student evaluation of teaching, active learning, collaborative learning, authentic learning, experiential learning
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