Online Adjunct College Teaching Jobs as a Viable Market
Have you ever considered teaching online as an adjunct? This is a viable market and there are hundreds of openings. You can obtain listings from University of Texas and peruse the list, access the websites and after reading what they are about, send a CV. You may be surprised at the response.
For most online teaching, you will need to verify that you have a master's degree, a doctorate or a Master of Fine Arts degree. Then you will need to send the potential employer a copy of your unofficial transcript. When you hear back from the college they will probably tell you that they are interested, but that you will need to go through their training. They want you to do it their way. So a training date will be arranged and you must stay alert and complete all the exercises and remember that not everyone completes the training. That is your first task...to complete the training. When you do this, you will be assigned a mentor. Your mentor will shadow you as you take on teaching your first class. Here you will learn the platform used by the college and how to navigate it. Your mentor is there to provide feedback and to answer your questions.
The Structure of the Curriculum in Online Adjunct Teaching Jobs
When you first go online in your new class, you will be looking at a computer monitor and you will see that the monitor is divided into color-coded sections or panels. Each panel represents an aspect of the course. The full page is the course. Your course is portable. You may copy your class onto a laptop and take the laptop wherever you will. There is no reason that would prevent you from participating and completing the course, no matter where you traveled. So, your first encounter is with a panel labeled as Announcements. Here, you will find messages from the administration about changing the forthcoming classes, about holidays, about general policies of the college. You will also find announcements from the instructor. So, if you are the instructor, you must give office hours, rules on submitting class work, policies on late work and plagiarism. In general, your Announcement board is to keep the student abreast of changes and is designed to direct the student so that they stay on task. The students should be encouraged to read the Announcement Board every time they sign into the course. Otherwise, they may miss a key element of the course.
As we move down the monitor, we will see a button marked Assignments. Here the assignments are given along with lectures that are relevant. We also see the criteria of acceptable performance, expressed in a rubric.
Further down, we see a panel with a link to Problems and Solutions. Here, students are encouraged to share their discoveries of navigation and the like with their fellow students.
The Core of Online Adjunct College Teaching Jobs
We now come to the essential core of the course...it is labeled Discussion Thread. Here the instructor will toss out a prompt for the students to elicit student response. The goal is to obtain high interaction on the part of the class, interaction of student and teacher, and interaction of student with student. The instructor uses a variety of techniques to get this going, including sharing experiences that are related to the issue. Sometimes the instructor will piggyback on what the student has said, share a concept and then move the question on to another student. The core of the course is interaction and navigation. To navigate effectively, the student will need to know the platform and how to move from one link to another. And, as the instructor, you will need to guide the student in doing so. In this sense, the student has two learning curves to master. And you are there to help in the process of mastery.
To support you and the student, there are many tutorials available, such as the use of the online library, the APA (American Psychological Association), the online dictionionary and encyclopedia, Turnitin.com, which matches the student's written work against millions of texts and calculates the percentage of matches in these texts. This can be used as a learning tool for the student and not just another method of exacting draconian discipline.
Grading comes next, and here the sophistication of the system is outstanding, for it provides not only a running record of the student's performance, but a cumulative average of the student's work. This system is very useful in holding conferences with the student in regard to academic performance. It may also be essential in cases where the student challenges his grades, even in those cases where litigation has entered. The system does provide privacy in viewing performance grades. Also, if the student wishes to have a conference with the instructor, she may do so by using the email function, located in the upper right corner of the monitor. Be sure to click on the privacy function at the bottom of the sight, otherwise, the conference will be visible to all.
In the center of the screen, one will find the link, Ask the Professor. This is self explanatory and provides a place for the student to pose questions to the instructor and expect a 24 hr. turnaround. This is a public board and the idea is that other students can obtain knowledge and insight into the question posed by their fellow students.
The panel marked Student Lounge is, indeed, a place for the student to relax and share some virtual coffee, but it is more than that. It is a non-graded section that provides a space for students to informally share their ideas and concerns. Furthermore, it is known from past studies that in this context, bonding of students takes place and the students become a valuable support to one another throughout their academic career. For this reason, the focus is on sharing and not evaluation. It makes no difference if the students are discussing the content of the course or some personal matter, online adjunct faculty job openings as a career path for academics are a vibrant way to interact with new and returing college studnets earning an online college degree.
While online faculty positions are not for every college professor, they can certainly enhance the incomes of the academics willing to master the functions of a personal computer in order to access a variety of online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs.