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Identification of the optimal faculty behaviors for performance improvement in distance education

The current study reports the findings of the first step of a comprehensive performance improvement study, identification of the optimal behaviors. In this sense, this study aims to determine the optimal faculty behaviors in distance education based on the perspectives of the stakeholders based on the framework of transactional distance (TD) theory. The data were obtained from the stakeholders of distance education practices; distance education experts from eight universities, and faculty members, administrators, and students from two universities as well as observations on online courses and available relevant documents. The data from the multiple sources were analyzed through constant comparison method. The emerged codes created the themes based on the TD theory. The findings indicated that the identified behaviors, which are student-centered and interrelated in producing the outcomes, are expected from all faculty at varying degrees in any context to manage TD outcomes. The identified behaviors might be used as the performance objectives in faculty professional development studies and practices in distance education.