Online Instructor Job Openings
How would you go about securing an online instructor job opening? I will share with you the tactics that have worked for me over many years. First of all, I obtain a list of schools offering online classes. These can be state schools, private schools, non- profit schools and profit schools. So, don't restrict yourself to the highly popularized profit schools. And be sure to include community colleges. A good place to start is to request a list of such schools from the human resources dept of a major university such as University of Texas. UT lists several hundred such schools. Next go down the list and select batches of ten schools. You must realize that successful application is, among other things, a numbers game. While you wait on the list, spruce up your CV, order an unofficial transcript and make copies. Locate a notary. (You may be called upon to prove your identity.) Prepare a cover letter. Don't make it too specific. What you want initially is a template that you can flesh out, depending on which school to which you apply. Then you can praise the school's academic programs and their social relevance. Assemble packets and send out to the specific schools. Most will allow you to do this online. You may get a response by email or phone in which case the school may wish to set up an interview. This is ordinarily done by phone. One of the main issues they will want to know is if you have to time to make a commitment that the job requires. Once you pass this, you will be required to go through a training that will take a couple of weeks. Once you pass the training, you will go on to your assignment to a mentor. The mentor is your guide and will support you through your first few classes. If you have questions at any point, you must ask your mentor. You will then be assigned your first class. You will start with one class and move up to two or three classes. When you sign in, you will see your class represented on your computer monitor. You then realize that you must learn the platform and how to navigate it. You will have gone through the basics of this when you took the training; however, you are not interacting with students and the training does not cover the fine points and what you discover along the way. This is where your mentor comes in. If you get confused, ask. When you survey the monitor, you will see color coded panels, representing different aspects of the course. The left hand margin gives the entire curriculum of the online course. We begin at the top of the monitor with Announcements: Here you will see urgent messages about curriculum changes and policies on plagiarism. You may also see the instructor's office hours and policies on late submission of essays.
We move on to Assignments. Here the criteria of acceptable performance are given in a rubric. A broad range of evaluation is used, from timed objective tests to documented essays, to participation in discussion groups, to demonstrations, to group projects. Every week assignments show up. They are pre planned and in accord with the objectives of the course. The student is charged with the responsibility of being responsive to problems and solutions in the domain of the course organization. For example, the student may note a way of navigating the platform that is more efficient than the habitual way. This is in accord with calling forth a spirit of independence and analysis. It also calls upon the student to share insights into the nature of navigation. This is prominently brought out in Discussion Thread, where a perennial theme is explored. For example, the difference between online teaching and traditional teaching may be explored and passed from one student to another. Or, one may explore the differences in the kinds of grammars, such as prescriptive grammar and transformational generative grammar. This leads up to grading where the grades at any point in the course are always open for review by the student and the instructor. The student may peruse his own grades and these grades may be used as a basis for holding conferences. Most of the conferences are private and are held on a private cell or phone or email. But occasionally, the conferences are open to legal or administrative counsel when the issue is a contention about fairness between the instructor and the student. Then other persons may be present. This would hold true whether one is dealing with online high school or online teacher jobs. The student may present a question to the instructor by clicking on Ask the Professor and in this case pose a question. This question along with the instructor's response will be posted in view of all the students and form the basis of more discussion. If the instructor thinks the questions warrant a referral to tutors, then the student is redirected to tutorials. Here a broad variety of tutoring is available. For example, there are tutorials on grammar and on the use of APA and Turnitin.com and on library tours. The instructor may be directed to one or more of these tutorials with take place on line. So, while the student is being taught in an online class, she may also be given a tour of the online library, thus illustrating the power of the online format. Finally, not all phases are graded. The students in Student Lounge are not working for a grade. Instead, they are sharing both content judgments and personal issues. The idea is to provide a context in which students may interact and perhaps bond so that they become a support to one another throughout their academic career and beyond. One can see that whether one is working on an online master degree or online education classes, the focus is on process and not the sheer covering of content.
The best possible way for an individual with an earned graduate degree to earn a decent living teaching college, university and community college students is to start teaching online classes for three or four accredited online college degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs. The distance education technology required to construct and distribute online college degree programs filled with online college courses is at a functional peak today. Granted, there will be more improvement, and that improvement in distance education will create even more online teaching positions that need qualified academics with computer skills and knowledge of digital navigation to fill them. Ultimately, an online adjunct instructor can make a much better living by acquiring online teaching jobs than by continuing to deliver post-secondary academic instruction in the physical college or university classroom.