Online Adjunct Teaching Jobs
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach via an adjunct online Job? What are the advantages? First off, if you are now teaching for an on the ground school as an adjunct, you could double or triple your income by shifting to an online school. A normal semester spans 16 weeks, whereas, an online school runs for just 7.5 weeks per term. And, you could teach for two or more online schools at the same time. Secondly, there would be no commuting expense. You could teach your class online in your pajamas. On the other hand, as long as you take your trusty laptop with you, you could travel the world and still maintain your online classes. Third, many of the functions of direct teaching are done for you by the program. For example, you do not need to call attendance; that is done electronically as the student logs into the classroom. You do not need to write curricula; that is done for you. You do not need to write lesson plans; that is done for you. You are more than a teacher in the traditional sense; you are a facilitator. You do not need to organize grades or average scores; that is done for you.
While it is true that the online system offers many of the same courses as the on the ground course, such as math, English, science, literature and economics, the online mode of curriculum organization focuses more on process. When you first encounter the online course as it is represented on your laptop monitor, you will see distinct color coded sections that are named and which represent aspects of the course dynamics:
- Problems and Solutions
- Discussion Thread
- Ask the Professor
- Student Lounge and Bonding
Announcements enable the instructor and the administration to contact the students on a day by day posting. The instructor may list his/her office hours and policies on plagiarism and the administration may post emergency notices regarding storms in areas where the college's students are located.
Assignments include weekly lectures, demonstrations, testing of various kinds, essay requirements, group interaction and goal setting, readings, student self and group critique.
Problems and Solutions include the concept of individual discovery and sharing. The student is encouraged to come up with new ways of doing things to become more comprehensive and more articulated. For example, a student may discover a new way to carry out a search, using navigation in a different way that yields efficiency and clarity. Then, the student shares the discovery with the class.
Discussion Thread is a central process for the online course. Interaction is stressed. The instructor presents a puzzle in the subject matter and challenges the students to solve it. The instructor starts by offering his own feelings and thinking and then passes the problem to the students. The ideal here is to get the students to respond to one another. Their combined effort will result in the emergence of a theme or thread that can be explored in many ways. An example in grammar is I can convert the sentence, "John is easy to please," to "To please John is easy." However, given the sentence, "John is eager to please," I cannot convert it to the sentence "To please John is eager." The last sentence is nonsensical. Why?
Grading is one of the processes that is most helpful in online teaching. All the grades are recorded and averaged for the instructor, including objective tests, essays, participation in discussion thread and group project. This information is particularly useful as a basis for discussion in a student- teacher conference.
The record of grades provides a basis for conferencing with each student. Their grades are private and their conferences are usually private. The exceptions usually occur because of student teacher conflict over grade interpretation. In this case, legal council may be opted for both sides and a dean or lawyer may appear in the group. If a student wants a private conference, they may do this by phone, by email, or by chat room. The instructor should check with the administration regarding calling students. There are some legal restrictions that should not be ignored.
Ask the Professor provides a space for the student to ask the instructor a question about content ..a question and answer which will be shared with the class. This is part of the learning process, and can be accessed any time of day or night. The student should expect a response in 24 hrs. If the question requires tutoring, this can be handled.
Tutorials are in depth and specific. For example, a student may have difficulty recognizing agreement of subject and verb. The tutorial guides him through examples of subject-verb agreement. The student may not grasp how an acid and base combine to create a salt.
Student Lounge is designed to promote bonding among students. The students are provided a context in which they may discuss anything whether content based or personal and, through this sharing, bond with one another. This section is non-graded. The idea is to create a support system that will last the student beyond the course of study and be of benefit for life pursuits.
The foregoing represents the dynamics of the online course. You will find this format in modified form for most of the online courses. The sections have different names and some may have more sections than others, but the idea is to capture the process. The online curriculum includes but goes beyond content with emphasis on process. The ultimate idea is to get students to share and to teach one another. All the learning is not restricted to the classroom. The bonding that begins in the sharing sessions should extend outward and be a support for not only one's profession but to solve life problems for oneself and for one's colleagues. The best way of achieving this goal is to emphasize natural responses of student to student and to minimize the restrictions of lecture where sheer verbiage is masked as an enlightening lecture.
Certainly, the adoption of distance education technology by traditional post-secondary institutions such as community colleges and state universities make the possibility of teaching online full time even more attractive to the prospective online adjunct instructor. The numbers of online faculty positions available is in direct correlation to the numbers of accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs. Since student populations are swelling almost to bursting and the cost of maintaining physical academic infrastructure such as a college or university campus full of building containing classrooms, the ability to meet the post-secondary educational needs of new and returning college students with online degree programs is a perfect solution for the schools, the students and the online adjunct instructors seeking to earn a full time living by acquiring as many online adjunct instructor positions as possible.