ECAR Study of Community College Faculty and Information Technology, 2020


  • Increase professional development and training opportunities for online instruction for both full-time and adjunct faculty. Community colleges continue to provide and expand online offerings and degrees in areas such as assessment (competency) and crediting (microcredentials and digital badging). To address the needs of their communities and an expanding population of nontraditional students, two-year institutions will need to increase faculty skills and interest in online instruction.
  • Encourage faculty (including part-time and adjunct) to use services that could also benefit their students. Increase faculty access to support for using OER and web conferencing, and for making courses accessible to students with disabilities. These services in particular align with the needs of community college students. Communicate to faculty that these services and supports are available so that faculty can assess how to use them to meet their students' needs. Incentivizing the use of these services could increase use among faculty.
  • Increase training and professional development for faculty to use students' smartphones as a learning tool in their classrooms. Underrepresented students, who make up large numbers of the community college population, view smartphones as critical to their academic success. Given that these students are more likely to access resources, textbooks, or assignments via their phones, faculty need increased understanding of the degree to which these students value such devices and of how best to leverage them for learning.
  • Make online student success tools available to faculty who serve in advising roles, and encourage their effective use. Faculty use of the online tools at their disposal gives students, particularly those in underrepresented groups, a roadmap that offers concrete guidance and direction on how to obtain their degree or transfer to a four-year institution. Tools that offer guidance on courses students should take can be especially useful to faculty who have advising or mentoring roles, as these tools can save community college students time and money by reducing the time it takes to complete a credential.