Faculty development needs as perceived by administrators and instructors from the National University in Costa Rica

Date

1982

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived needs for faculty development, as stated by administrators and instructors from the National University in Costa Rica. Particular attention was given to differences in perceptions between both groups and among instructors. Differences between groups were determined according to the following dimensions of faculty development: professional, instructional, curricular, and organizational. In determining differences among instructors, academic field and workload were used as variables. Three major and eleven minor hypotheses were investigated. Hypothesis One predicted significant differences between administrators and instructors in their perceptions of needs in each of the four dimensions of faculty development. Hypothesis Two predicted significant differences among instructors from the fields of humanities, natural sciences, and education in their perceptions of instructional development needs. Hypothesis Three predicted significant differences between full-time and part-time instructors in their perceptions of needs in each of the four dimensions of faculty development. Hypotheses One and Three were tested using the t-test; Hypothesis Two was tested using analysis of variance. No significant differences at the .05 level were found pertaining to the three major hypotheses. As significant differences were not found with respect to Hypotheses One and Two, none of their minor hypotheses was substantiated. Although significant differences were not found in relation to Hypothesis Three, one of its four minor hypotheses was acccepted at the .05 level of significance; part-time instructors perceived instructional development needs as being higher in importance than did full-timers. In summary, there was a high agreement between instructors and administrators on their perceptions of which faculty development needs are more important at the National University. For theory, this research provides a definition and categorization of faculty development needs. In addition, the findings concerning priorities of needs coincided with other researchers' findings and with some of the explanations provided in literature review. For research, this study can serve as a model for similiar efforts to assess faculty development needs. Similarly, it can serve as a basis for additional research. For practice, this study provided instructors and administrators with the opportunity to indicate their perceptions of needs from their particular perspective. Patterns of similarities found in this study offered valuable insight in the area of faculty development. This study facilitates understanding of faculty development needs as the basis for policy formulation and for determining effective ways of meeting specific needs. A plan of action was recommended.

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Keywords

College teachers--Costa Rica, College administrators--Costa Rica

Citation