What factors are related to the satisfaction of online instructors at rural community colleges?

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University of Alabama Libraries

Student enrollment in online classes has witnessed a significant growth over the past decade. Higher education institutions, in particular, rural community colleges recognize both the need and demand for online classes and have taken great strides to incorporate them into their course curriculum. However, with the growth of online courses there also comes an increase in the number of instructors teaching those online courses. Using Frederick Herzberg's two-factor theory as a framework, this study was created to discover what factors are related to satisfaction of online instructors at rural community colleges. The survey used in this study was distributed electronically to faculty at 11 rural institutions in Alabama's Community College System and consisted of 31 questions that were categorized into four sections: demographics, hygiene factors (nine total), motivator factors (five total) and online instruction variables at each institution. Results from the study indicated there were four hygiene factors that were related to satisfaction of online faculty: benefits and services, supervision, physical working conditions and interpersonal relationship with peers. There were only two motivator factors listed as related to satisfaction: personal achievement and opportunities for advancement and growth. While the data collected from the demographic section did not show any statistically significant differences in the means of the varialbes in relation to job satisfaction of online instructors. Data collected via a quantitative study provided a closer look at satisfaction of online faculty at rural community colleges. Conducting this study not only added to the limited research on the topic, but also provided distance education administrators and supervisors with information needed to develop and maintain online programs at their institution.

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Higher education, Community college education, Educational administration