Online Professor Positions
What is an online professor position? The key word here is online. Ordinarily, we contrast online education with traditional education. In the traditional scheme of curriculum planning, we think of instruction as taking place in a specific place and time. In online education, time is reinterpreted as Asynchronous and real space is reinterpreted as cyberspace. This means, in the traditional sense, that one must meet her class in a particular room and according to a defined schedule and on a particular campus of a university located in a city and country that is specified. In cyberspace, I can physically move from state to state or from country to country and still keep up with the course I am teaching.
Further, I can teach for more than one university at a time; because the courses are asynchronous, they are easy to schedule and I don't have to race across town to get from one school to the other. In fact, I don't have to go anywhere. I can stay in my pajamas to teach the course...or I can travel to China and keep abreast of the course. All I need is my laptop. Even if I lose my laptop, my course is backed up on a flash drive and I can always buy an inexpensive laptop in transit.
The focus of online teaching is on process, not on content. This does not mean that content is ignored. One can take courses in math, English, history, and accounting, the same courses one takes in the traditional curriculum. But the organization is not around content; it is around process. Here are some examples of process:
Problems and Solutions
Ask the Professor
You can readily see that what is stressed in the above is what one does, how the instructor and students interact, not strictly on content. Let us begin at the beginning and look at what goes on in Announcements.
Here urgent messages are posted for the students...posted by both their professors and the administration. If a storm is a hazard for students in a certain geographic area...a power outage, then the instructors are informed not to penalize students who, through no fault of their own, cannot complete assignments. It is also, a place for instructors to post office hours and rules on documentation.
The essence of this phase is variety of learning processes: objective tests, projects, discussion, demonstrations, sharing, discovery, research essays and more. The criteria for each element are stated in the rubric. Acceptable performance is made explicit.
Problems and Solutions:
Here the student is encouraged to make discoveries and to share them with their fellow students. For example, the student may discover a new way to navigate a search for a basic term and then share the process, thus injecting new ideas into the mix.
Here, the instructor introduces a concept and gives her own reaction to it. She aims to promote interaction between students. The problem is passed from one student to others. Cases of applications are given and search for disparate views and synthesis are part and parcel of this thread or theme.
Here the system does most of the work. It records scores and grades and averages them. All students may see their progress at any time. But they may only see their scores, not the other students' scores. The grading system provides a convenient base upon which the instructor may hold a teacher-student conference.
These conferences are usually private and may be called by students or instructors alike. The conduits of communication are phone, e-mail, and private cell. In rare cases, the meetings include a university representative or legal counsel and comparable support on the side of the students.
Ask the Professor:
If a student needs a question answered that does not come up in the discussion thread, they may post the question in Ask the Professor and the instructor will respond to them in 24 hrs. If the questions are complex and require tutoring, then the instructor can recommend one or more of the many tutorials available.
The online model usually includes many tutorials such as grammar, APA (American Psychological Association) for organizing and documenting research, Turnitin.com which helps the students avoid plagiarism by using a computerized system that compares their written work to millions of like documents to provide a percentage of identical passages. There are tutorials that can support the students understanding of the online library, along with a set of research tools.
Here there are no grades awarded. The focus here is to create a context in which students can share both content oriented concerns and personal concerns. The idea is to get the students to bond so that they have support beyond the course.
The above factors show that the online organization of curriculum is focused on process and not the mere storage of information.
For the beginner in an online setup, there are a couple of learning curves they must master. There is the facet of content. One must know what he is teaching and how it is organized by the curriculum designers. In other words, a teacher in this system is more of a manager or facilitator than a teacher in the conventional sense. Secondly, the instructor must master the platform and know how to navigate it. The instructor must have the skill to move the agenda forward and to do so with alacrity. Also, the students must learn to use the navigational system. Thus, while they are mastering the concepts of the course in composition, math, or history, they must also master the way to navigate the system. In some cases, this double hurdle creates problems for students who do not have basic skills in the use of the computer. Some have recommended that these problems could be solved by requiring a basic course in keyboarding and formats so that this factor will be net neutralized. Nevertheless, this being done, there are many rewards at the end of the rainbow.
The presence of accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs is growing at a rate that is creating a new academic career path comprised of numerous online college faculty positions. The college teaching opportunities can only be applied for by access the Internet from a personal computer and navigating the websites of post-secondary institutions in order to locate the faculty application section. It is simple matter once in the application section to supply the academic credentials necessary to be considered for online adjunct job opportunities with a particular accredited online college degree program. There are thousands of community colleges, state colleges, four-year universities, technical schools and for-profit colleges that offer their students many online degree programs now and will offer ever more online college degree programs in the future. This means that the traditional adjunct faculty member trapped in a physical college classroom and making very little in income for the intellectual effort required from post-secondary instruction to college students can significantly increase the amount of earned income by developing an online teaching schedule with multiple online degree programs.