Online Adjunct Instructor Positions
If you are an adjunct instructor, teaching in a community college or a four year college, you should know that you could double your income by teaching in an online college. Ordinarily, you would teach for 16 weeks per semester in a traditional setup, but in an online school you would teach only 7.5 weeks per semester. You will operate in cyberspace and will be freed from the constraints of time and space. This means that in an online course, you are free to travel anywhere you like. It makes no difference if you are thousands of miles away from your students. All the action takes place in asynchronous time, whereas traditional instruction takes place in real time. If you taught a course in composition in a traditional setup, you would be required to meet your students at a specific time, on a specific day of the week at a specific classroom and in a specified city and country. This pins you down to time and space. In an online design, you would need only to travel with a laptop computer and you could literally be anywhere in real space and time and still stay abreast of your course.
The differences between a traditional adjunct course and an online adjunct course are not in the content choices; it is in the process by which concepts and information are conveyed and learned. For example, in a traditionally organized curriculum, a student could sign up for economics, math, composition, history and science. These same courses are offered in an online medium. The difference is not in the courses; the difference is in the way the instructor interacts with the students and the content material. If a new instructor observes a typical online class, the first item he/she would probably notice is that the instructor signs on and notes the monitor is divided into recognizable section. The following will provide a sequence showing this process.
In this section, the instructor can post her office hours, the policy on plagiarism, and the administration can post emergency messages such as storms in some areas where students are located and the changes in curricula that announce changes in student's programs.
This section includes lectures, demonstrations, test descriptions, criteria in the form of a rubric. The tests vary from objective type tests that are timed. For this reason the students should be informed that they must finish the test in the stipulated time; otherwise, they will lose points. The tests also include performance on group projects, participation in class discussion, demonstrations, essays that are grammatically correct and substantive, and bibliography.
Problems and Solutions
The online curriculum stresses interaction of student and student as well as student and teacher. The way the curriculum is organized emphasizes this principle. The students are encouraged to make discoveries and to share their discoveries with their peers. For example, in discovering a new navigation for searching, the student should share the sequence of navigation from link to link.
Here the instructor introduces a topic and shares his/her experience of the topic. It could be framed in a problematic way. The topic is passed between students, and the instructors will often piggy- back off of the students' responses. The idea is to promote the students responding to one another.
Attendance is part of grading and the good thing is that the instructor does not have to call roll. When the student signs in, their attendance is recorded electronically. Participation in the discussion forum is another aspect of grading. The quizzes, group projects, documented research papers and essays provide further data for grading. The grades are electronically stored both separately and as averages. The grading schema is useful in student teacher conferences. Most conferences with students are confidential. On some occasions, however, a dean or legal counselor will be invited in to represent the student or the school. This may happen when the student and the instructor are at odds.
Ask the Professor
In this panel, the students may ask any content related question of the instructor. They will get a 24 hour turn around. The panel is designed to share the question and answer with other students, so this medium is a way to involve the whole class. If the question requires tutoring, then the instructor will refer the student to the Tutorials.
The tutorials are designed to go into depth on a particular issue. For example, assume the student needs help on understanding APA format. The instructor will refer the student to an online tutorial on the APA (American Psychological Association), or the student may need help in avoiding plagiarism. In this case, the instructor will refer the student to Turnitin.com which electronically matches the student's work with millions of text and calculates the percentage of identical passages. Or, the student may just need to know their way around the online library, in which case, the instructor will arrange an online library tour for the student.
The Student Lounge
Here is a place for the students to relax. It is a place where students can share their concerns, whether academic or personal. This is a non-graded area. The idea here is not to test the student but to provide a context in which the students can bond and become a support to one another throughout their academic career and beyond.
The foregoing may provide some idea of how the online organization focuses on interaction and process. It emphasizes student leadership and sharing. Neither the instructor nor the student is tied to a traditional schedule. For this reason, many students like this mode of organization very much because it interfaces nicely with their job or home life or travel expectation. All one needs is a laptop computer and he/she can lead the course from any geographical location. For the instructor, there are other advantages such as not having to call roll (i.e. having it electronically done for the instructor). It is true that both the instructor and the student must be adept at navigating the platform, but once this is grasped, one's range and precision is multiplied.
An online adjunct instructor really is in the academic driver's seat, so to speak, in so far as the online teaching schedule is concerned because the increase in the numbers of accredited online bachelor degree programs and online master's degree programs is genuinely phenomenal. An alert individual with an earned graduate degree, a master's degree or doctorate degree, can coordinate as many as eight to twelve online professor job openings from an inexpensive laptop computer from home. The best search strategy for locating and applying for online adjunct employment opportunities is to visit the websites of the thousands of post-secondary academic institutions, community colleges, technical schools, state universities, four-year colleges and for-profit colleges, and locate the link on the site's first page that lead to the faculty application area. The growth of distance education, of accredited online college degree programs that lead to an online business degree or online engineering degree, is practically without limits. This means that the adroit adjunct college instructor willing to master the use of a personal computer to interact with new and returning college students enrolled in online college courses can earn sufficient online adjunct income to qualify as a full time living.