Adjunct Online Faculty Positions
Would you like to have an Adjunct Online Faculty Position? In other words, have you ever considered teaching online? In this article I will share my experiences of online teaching, pointing out some of the great advantages of online teaching over the traditional way of organizing learning.
First, if you teach online, the average teaching term is 7.5 weeks; whereas, if you go the traditional route, the term is 16 weeks, nearly double-not a bad money incentive. The pay is roughly the same per course. On top of this, many of the functions you carry out manually in the traditional mode are done for you electronically in the online mode. For example, you do not have to take attendance; attendance is electronically recorded as the students enter the classroom. You do not have to design the curricula or lesson plans; they have been designed for you. You do not need to calculate grades. The grades on each assignment are recorded and averaged for you and the student.
Second, in the traditional system, you are tied to real space and time: whereas, in the online mode you will operate in cyberspace and in an asynchronous environment. The practical side of this fact is that your schedule becomes highly flexible. You can, if you wish, travel the world and still keep up with your classes. You can enter the class and post messages at 3:00 a.m. if you want. With all of these advantages, what is the downside? Initially, if you have never taught online, you may experience some confusion as you are mastering navigation of the new platform. However, if you keep in mind that the online course stresses process and not content, you will master the learning curve much faster. In the following paragraphs, I provide you with a model of an online class, showing the various aspects of the course as the course is communicated to you on line. This is a general model and you will find variations with individual schools, but the concept and purpose will remain the same.
Imagine you are seated before your laptop and you are surveying the monitor. You will see many color coded sections and you will note activity in each panel. The first is Announcements.
In this panel, you see that urgent messages are posted for the students. For example, the administration may post a change in the course offerings for the next term and recommend certain changes in student programs. The instructor may wish to post changes to his/her office hours. Any urgent directive is the essence of this panel. For this reason, it is necessary that the instructor convey to the students that it is in their best interest to check Announcements every time they sign on.
Here is the place for lesson plans, for demonstration and lecture, for research papers, for group participation and projects, for weekly test assignments and with stated criteria expressed in the form of a rubric.
Problems and Solutions:
Here the emphasis on student independence and process is exemplified. The students are charged with the responsibility of keeping track of their observations and noting discoveries that may be of use not only to them but to the class as a whole. Perhaps they have discovered a new way of navigation. They will share their find and everyone will be the richer
This is the heartbeat of the course. This is where the instructor throws out a concept or a situation and shares his own ideas and then passes the problem to the students who respond to one another as the problem makes its circuit.
Grading is calculated for you. Each score is recorded and the summative scores are averaged for you. This record provides a good basis for conferencing with the student. The students may see their own grades, but not the grades of classmates; whereas, the instructor may see all the grades.
Conferences are usually private unless there is a dispute over grades ...in which case, legal counsel may be present on sides, student and school. The private conference is set up by mandate of the instructor and by the request of the students. The conference will take place by telephone, by email and in a private cell.
Ask the Professor:
The students may at any time ask the instructor to clarify or explain a concept in the class. The posting may take place at any time of the day or night and the students will get a 24 hour turnaround. If the questions are of such a nature or detail as to require a tutorial, the instructor will recommend an appropriate one.
In most online classes, tutorials are available in a variety of areas. For example, suppose that a student has problems with subject-verb agreement in her written work. A tutorial on this aspect of grammar will be recommended. Perhaps the student wants to make sure he is avoiding plagiarism. He will be taken through a tutorial on the use of Turnitin.com. If she wants to know how to format a research paper, she will be directed to APA style manual.
This, of all the panels, is not graded. This is a free form panel which sets an environment so that students may share both content reactions and personal issues. The idea is to get students to share so that bonding will take place and then obtain peer support throughout their academic career and beyond it.
Content and Process:
It should be obvious that the above is not organized around content, but is heavily weighted in terms of process. This calls for a highly participatory curriculum design. The online courses are more flexible than the traditional format and they come with a number of features that streamlines work. It is necessary to master the navigation of the platform but once done, many manual moves are eliminated. The program does a lot of work for the instructor, from record keeping to grading. It is certainly worth taking a look.
In terms of earning a living from post-secondary instruction, there cannot be any doubt that online teaching for a variety of accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs is a much better application of an adjunct college instructor's earned graduate degree. A technically adroit person with a Ph.D. or master's degree can use an inexpensive laptop computer to acquire an online teaching schedule filled with online adjunct jobs. Distance education technology makes it possible for an online adjunct instructor to teach online college courses with academic institutions far distant from the geographical location of the online college professor. This mean that it is possible to populate a college or university teaching schedule with eight to ten online college classes without ever leaving a specific town or city. Further, since an online adjunct teacher can acquire online adjunct teaching positions with a variety of online business schools, online criminal justice schools or online accounting schools, the amount of online adjunct income can increase at an exponential rate. All in all, making the effort develop an online teaching schedule can certainly improve the income of any online adjunct instructor that wishes to learn how to find online faculty positions with numerous post-secondary academic institions.