An online adjunct instructor has many advantages that are not available to the traditional instructor. The main advantage is that they are not held prisoners of space and time as are the instructors of the traditional system. In the traditional system, a class meets at a specified time on a specified date and in a particular building on a particular campus. In the online set up the class can be active wherever you take your laptop. You could, if you want, travel to Mexico or China and, as long as you have your laptop or access to a computer, you could keep up with your class. You are not restricted in space as you are in the traditional system. In respect to time, suppose you got a red hot idea at 3:00 a.m. and you wanted to share this with your instructor. You could send the message to Ask the Professor in your online course and he would be able to read it as soon as he checked his messages. In a sense, the online class never shuts down until it is complete.
There are other advantages of the online system over the traditional system. For example, the curriculum is already planned...planned by experts in the field. Part of the job of the instructor is to become more of a facilitator and not to restrict her behavior to that of a traditional teacher. She will implement what has already been created. Moreover, lesson plans do not need to be created by the instructor. Each week plans are laid out and the instructor implements them. Also, the system takes care of averaging grading. And if you don't enjoy taking attendance, listen up; you don't have to. As the students sign in their presence is electronically tabulated and averaged with past dates. Books and articles that you recommend are all online so no more wasting time by running copies. No need to physically take students through a tour of the library when on online tour of the online library is available.
What, specifically will the work be like in the online system? Following is a template that will give you an idea of what the work is like. Do not expect to find an exact match. The platform of each online school is different, but most have some of these elements.
The first item the new teacher will notice is that the monitor is divided into color coded sections. Each section corresponds to an aspect of the course...such as Grading, Conferencing or Tutorials. But to begin, the first one in order is labeled as Announcements.
This, the first of the major frames of the online curriculum, is a space to post urgent messages such as inclement weather in places where the school's populist are located. Changes in the curriculum are reported here as well as the office hours of the instructor. Also, policies are outlined, such as the policy on the use of APA for documentation.
Here a variety of the assignments are given every week. The student is challenged with a broad range of evaluative instruments, such as timed objective tests, research essays that are documented, demonstrations, participation of the student in discussion groups and sharing of ideas. The criteria or acceptable performance is expressed in a rubric.
Problems and Solutions:
This phase emphasizes the importance that online teaching is committed to, such as creative observation, analysis, and sharing of concepts. For example, a student may discover a new way of navigating a search and then share this technique with the class.
Ask the Professor:
Here, the situation is reversed and the student asks the professor to offer an interpretation. The problem in question is one of content and will be shared with the class. The problem may be posted at any time along with the instructor's comments. This way, everyone gets the benefit of the learning. If the responses to the questions require tutoring, then the instructor can recommend a variety of tutorials.
Here there are online tutorials on grammar, documentation, plagiarism and library tours. These focus on the teaching of concepts and skills. For example, the plagiarism tutorial takes the student through Turnitin.com and shows how each element relates to the system. In brief, a copy of student writing is submitted to Turnitin.com and the system compares the essay to millions of similar documents searching for exact and a percentage of exact match is computed.
Grades, including grades for attendance, are automatically calculated for the instructor. The grades make a useful basis upon which to organize a student teacher conference. The grades are sometimes in dispute; nevertheless, the students may view her grades at any time but only their own, not their fellow classmates. The instructor may review all grades. Averages are automatically calculated. Sometimes, when there is a dispute, legal counsel is called in. Even so, grades are usually about content and are useful for conferencing.
There are many kinds of conferences. Most will be about content, but a few will be about personal issues. Personal conferences may be arranged for the telephone, for email, and for a private cell.
This section is not graded. The idea is to provide an environment that allows the students to relax and not worry about grades...to instead share content and personal issues so that bonding is made probable.
Here is a time to reflect on the advantages of the new system and to ask if it something you can see yourself doing. If so, the following will be a kind of roadmap for you to follow in preparing yourself for securing a job in online teaching.
You will need to assemble your CV and letters of recommendation. Also, order unofficial transcripts and make multiple copies; the official copies can come later upon request. Later too, you may be asked for a proof of your identity. Then you must have a place to apply. I recommend your sending out packets of ten at a time. You have entered a numbers game. And where do you find a place to send your applications. Many schools, such as U. of Texas publish lists. Secure one and go down the list. Also, once you get noticed and interviewed by phone, be prepared to go through a training required by your potential employer. When you pass this point you will be assigned a mentor. Last advice: Follow your mentor.
The numbers of online instructor positions has risen dramatically as a result of the ease post-secondary academic institutions have offering accredited online college degree programs to their students. Today's college and university students have no problem with the idea of earn an accredited online bachelor degree or accredited online master's degree from their personal computers. An individual with an earned graduate degree, a Ph.D. or master's degree, should be in pursuit of an online adjunct faculty position with as many online college degree programs as possible. The advantages of teaching online are that multiple online college courses provide the online adjunct instructor with multiple online adjunct income streams. Further, since all of the academic interaction between online students and online college professors occurs on the Internet, it is possible for an adroit and aggressive online college adjunct to teach online adjunct jobs practically anywhere in the world that provides wireless access to the online degree programs. In the end, the future of post-secondary instruction and the future career path of the agile college teacher lie on the Internet and in online college degree programs.