Online Adjunct Instructor
Have you considered becoming an online adjunct instructor? Do you realize that if you are now working as an adjunct, you could make 2 to 3 times the amount of money by going online as an instructor? Do you have a master's degree? You have satisfied the first step. If you are interested, the following steps toward this goal may be of benefit. First, where would you look to make an application? Fortunately, you can do a Google search to find a list of schools that offer online teaching. For one, the University of Texas publishes such a list. Write to the Department of Human Resources for this information. Once obtained, look down the list and pick out schools where you would like to teach.
Send out your cover letter and CV to Dept. Heads that interest you. Send the documents in bundles. Do not send one at a time and wait; you will be waiting a long time. When you make a contact the school will interview you and set up a training session for you. If you go through the training, you will then be assigned a mentor who will guide you through you firsts few teaching session. What do you expect to encounter during your online teaching. The following will give you a general idea of what to expect, though each school will map these components in a slightly different way.
The first pattern our new instructor will notice on the monitor for online teaching is The Announcements
Here, the instructor may post office hours and the administration may post emergency messages such as changes in the curriculum. Other emergencies such as dangerous weather can also be noted by the administration.
The next panel we will notice is Assignments. Here, the directions to carrying out an assignment is described via lecture and demonstration and the standards are expressed in a rubric. The instructor can then move on to Problems and Solutions wherein the student is encouraged to discover new ways of relating to the navigation. The idea is to increase self reliance and sharing.
The next phase is Grading. With this panel, the technology is very useful to both instructor and student. All the tests, quizzes, essays, research projects, and participation is noted individually and averaged. The student and the instructor can access these at any time, the student being able to see only their grades and the instructor seeing all the grades of all the students.
The instructor does not have to call roll; the computerized program does that, so one can tell who is present or not via the graphics. The grading data is useful in conferences whether they are private or not. Most students want a private conference. This can be done on the telephone, by email and by chat room. Sometimes, however, in the case of a disputed grade or an infraction of rules, a dean or legal representative must be present.
The next section is called Discussion Thread. This panel is highly interactive. The instructor injects a prompt or question and the students must respond. The question is passed from one student to another and the instructor shares his experiences of the problem and encouraging the students to do the same. This is the heart of the instructional design. Sometimes, students will have questions they want to address the instructor and they can do so in the slot called, Ask the Professor. Here, the student may post questions and get a 24 hrs. turn around. The questions are posted not only for the student who requests them, but for the whole class. Each student can learn something from this exchange. The student may have questions that require tutoring. This is taken care of in the Tutorials For example, if the student has difficulty with subject-verb agreement, he or she can obtain lectures and examples of correct form. If the question concerns how to avoid plagiarism, the tutorial can focus on turnitin.com which matches a student's essay against millions of like essays. If the student wants to know how to organize an essay, then the tutorial on APA (American Psychological Association) can help. Perhaps the question relates to how to use the online library. A tutorial can take care of this. Sometimes the students need to share without attention to grading. The phase, Student Lounge provides for this. Students are given off time to discuss not only content questions, but sharing of personal matters. The hope is that this will result in bonding and become a support mechanism throughout the student's life.
If you are considering teaching on line, you may have seen in this brief description some of the advantages it has over the conventional method of organization. You are free. You may travel the world and still meet your obligations as instructor or student. Also, the pay is much better. In the time you spend on the teaching one course in the conventional method, you could teach two or more courses on the online format. You are free to teach at several colleges and since you are not restricted by space and time, you could teach for several colleges in one semester. There are online instructors who make $100,000 per year. Of course, not everyone would want to work so hard, but the point is that you are free to go after more money if you want to. Also, it is unlikely that you are going to run out of teaching opportunities if you go the online route. And, there is no reason that you cannot do both. Options! Options are available. This is why many colleges and universities are moving toward a blended approach to the use of online curriculum organization. This way, both the students and the instructors have a choice. Many students sign up for some online course and some on ground courses. The instructor may do the same. From my own vantage point, and from my experience, the online curriculum organization will eventually take precedence over the traditional approach, if for no other reason, the cost of running each greatly differs.
If an adjunct faculty member is earning too little from teaching in a physical college or university classroom to actually pay the bills, it may be time to take a hard look at teaching online for a variety of accredited online college degree programs. An individual with a master's degree or Ph.D., an earned graduate degree, can transition off of the traditional community college, state university or four-year college campus and into an accredited online bachelor degree programs or accredited online masters degree programs by applying for multiple online college courses. The traditional post-secondary campuses have become almost too costly to support the falling budgetary funds available to college and university administrators. As a result of these academic administrative circumstances, these post-secondary academic institutions to develop as many online college degree programs as possible. For the adjunct college professor the chances of acquiring a full time online teaching schedule filled with many online adjunct faculty teaching jobs become more tangible every day.