A Qualitative Study of Satisfaction of IT Academics with Transnational Education
As Australian universities’ involvement in Transnational Education (TNE) continues to grow, little thought is given to the role of the academic. It is important that academics are engaged positively with TNE in order to mitigate some of the risks associated with TNE. A study of IT academics has shown that while they are less satisfied with TNE than their normal teaching role, they still show a marginal degree of satisfaction with TNE teaching. This paper reports on a qualitative study aimed at exploring and explaining the factors associated with academic satisfaction and TNE in terms of the Job Characteristics Model (Hackman and Oldham 1976). It suggests there is a fine balance between being satisfied and not; the aspects of TNE that are seen to be associated with a higher degree of academic satisfaction (e.g., face-to-face interaction with students, collegial relationships and interactions with TNE teaching staff) need to be encouraged and facilitated through university procedures and policies. On the other hand, those aspects of TNE that cause dissatisfaction (e.g., extra administrative load) need to be understood, managed and mitigated where possible.