Online Adjunct Faculty Positions
What is the value of teaching online? If you have not investigated this point, you may be surprised to find out that one can more than double one's income by switching from a traditional curriculum to an online curriculum. Moreover, the online program performs a lot of functions that the instructor ordinarily has to do manually, such as grading and attendance. So, if you are interested then what does it mean to hold an online faculty position?
In my experience, teaching online starts with a search. You will need resources such as a list of schools sponsoring online teaching. Many universities like U. of Texas offer such lists. Secure the list and then select batches of ten at a time. You are entering a number game. This is not to say you should ignore putting together an impressive CV. Update your CV and write a cover letter. Be sure to state that you are interested in teaching online.
To prepare, identify a notary that you can go to if you are called on to prove your identity. You may not be requested to supply this proof right away. But be ready. If the school is interested in you, they will invite you to sign up for training. Once you complete the training, you will be assigned a mentor. The mentor will stay with you through your first few courses. If you have questions about the work, ask your mentor. This being so, what is the instructor likely to observe once she is signed in?
In this phase, the instructor and the administration can place urgent messages, such as a change in the curriculum, such as the instructor's office hours or a policy on plagiarism.
This is a dynamic phase, for every week there are assignments that require a student to write documented essays, take objective tests, and participate in class discussions, demonstrations and original suggestions for navigation or reflective thought. The criteria of acceptable performance is expressed in a rubric.
Problems and Solutions:
This phase stresses discovery and creativity. The student notes a new way to navigate the platform and then shares this strategy with peers. Critical thinking is expressed.
A discussion thread is the exploration of a theme relevant to the curriculum. The instructor throws out a theme, gives his reaction to it and then passes the thread to the class. The ultimate goal is to get the students to give impromptu statements and have students respond to students. The instructor, for example, may ask why one can change to the passive form in the sentence, John is easy to please: To please John is easy, but in a similar sentence, John is eager to please, the passive produces a nonsense sentence: To please John is eager.
Grades are calculated for the instructor and recorded and averaged. The grades may be viewed by the instructor at any time and students may see their grades at any time, but they can only see their grades, not others. The facility of the grading mechanism makes it useful as a base for conferencing.
Usually conferencing is private. The instructor and the student meet on the phone, on email, or in a private cell. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to have legal counsel present.
Ask the Professor:
The students may post questions for the instructor and be assured of a 24 hr. turnaround. If the questions are of a complex nature and require tutoring, then the instructor can recommend a tutorial that is relevant to the problem posed.
Most online programs have tutorials, from a tour of the online library to discussion of the different grammars available...prescriptive grammar and transformational-generative grammar would be an example. The student may wish to avoid plagiarism and the instructor can then recommend studying how her essays are analyzed by Turnitin.com and a student who wants to document his essays better can be referred to APA style manual.
This section is not graded, for the administration does not want to judge what the students are doing. The students may discuss content related questions and personal issues. The idea is to promote bonding. This it is assumed will be of benefit to the students throughout their academic life and beyond.
If you go through the panels above, you will note that most of them are placed on process, not on content. We are not COVERING material. The challenges are to respond, to create, to reflect, to participate. The advantages of the online system are that it frees your time and space. You are not limited by time and space. One can travel anywhere and still maintain a class.
It pays better than the traditional format. It performs many of the functions like attendance taking automatically. The downside is that one must learn to navigate the platform, whether it is e-college or blackboard or some other form. The format that I have described is a hybrid and you will find considerable overlap with any given online system. So don't be surprised if the system you select is not an exact match with this one.
Next, be patient. If this is a new platform than the one you are used to, give yourself time to get used to it and don't be afraid to ask your mentor questions if you don't understand something. Also, as you know, technology is not perfect and if you detect an error in the program, there is a link on most systems that you can click to bring the tech. department to attention. It is the ALERT button. Make use of the various techniques that you are introduced to in the course. Remember, that you are a model for the students to follow. You are more than a teacher; you are a facilitator. Use Turnitin.com for all written work. This will encourage academic honesty and teach them the use of the system at the same time. Take advantage of the many online programs designed for the instructor that will help you improve in all professional areas.
Accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs are a normal part of the post-secondary offerings to new and returning college students today. As a result of the proliferation of these accredited online college degree programs, the number of available adjunct online faculty positions has dramatically risen to the point that there are not enough technically qualified online adjunct instructors to fill them. Obviously, the traditional adjunct faculty members that find themselves locked out of a decent living by the lack of enough physical college and university campuses within driving distance should make every effort to apply for multiple online adjunct jobs with a variety of online degree programs. The greatest benefit of teaching online is that distance education technology makes it possible to teach online college classes for schools at great distances from the location of the online adjunct college teacher. The increased amounts of online adjunct income make the pursuit of an online teaching schedule well worth the effort.