What is online teaching, and how does it differ from traditional teaching? Most of us are very familiar with traditional teaching. We meet a class at a university or community college. The class meets at a specific time and place in a certain country and state or province and our schedule of meetings is regular. We are controlled by time and space. But what if the whole class were preplanned and appeared on your laptop monitor when you signed in? You could then travel the world and participate in your class as long as you kept your laptop with you or had access to another computer.
You will have to learn how to navigate the platform, but the reward is great. Many of the functions you have to carry out manually in the traditional system are now done for you automatically. Much of grading is calculated for you. The curriculum design is built in, and even unit plans and lesson plans are preplanned for you. The lectures are already given. The tests are provided. The scoring of the tests is done for you. You do not have to call attendance; this is done for you. You are provided with multiple communication systems. So, if you can see yourself operating in such a system, you will see your role change from the traditional do- it- all teacher to a professional specialized in the art and skill of a facilitator. If this is a professional role you would like you may be asking what it pays. Well, it pays about double the amount you would obtain from a comparable on the ground class. Now you may be asking a different question: Where do I sign up?
If you are interested, you may be asking how you will get started. There are some basics to observe at the outset. First, you will need a list of schools to which you will apply. You will be able to obtain a list from many major universities, the University of Texas being one of them. Go on line and find the link. You should have several hundred listings available from this one source. You can either start at the beginning and go down the list, applying to ten-fifteen schools at a time or you can pick out the one's you would most like to teacher for. Do not worry about the architecture or physical characteristics of the school; remember you will be working online, not in physical space. Once you make your selections, you will search the web site for key terms like faculty applications or human resources. Some may provide an application form for you to complete; others may provide an email address. If the latter, send your CV with a cover letter, being sure to indicate that you are applying for online teaching.
Update your CV and create a template cover letter. You can use this template again and again with minor modifications. Also, down the road, you may be required to prove your identity in which case you will need a notary, but hold off on this until the college requests that you supply it. Now, assuming you get a hit, what is next? You will be required to go through training, and once that is complete you will be assigned a mentor. The mentor will guide you week by week through the teaching of your class. If you have questions, ask your mentor. Now, you are ready to sing into your class and begin teaching. When you first sign in and look at the monitor, you will see a screen that is divided into color coded blocks or panels. The first one is Announcements.
Here, one may post urgent messages such as weather problems in certain areas. Remember that you as an online teacher are connected to many areas in real space and time. You may have some students in Hawaii and others in Iowa, and you are in California. If a storm comes up in an area you are connect to, the students there may not have power and may not be able to go online. Announcements are also useful for the instructor to state his/her office hours.
In this segment, weekly assignments are given: timed objective tests, documented essays, participation in discussion groups, attendance, projects, lectures, demonstrations. In other words, a variety of instruments are used to gain an idea of valid performance. The criteria of acceptable performance are indicated in a rubric.
Problems and Solutions:
Here the core of the course is implemented. The student is required to share observations and deductions based on observations and then share these with the class. For example, the student may discover a new way of navigating the platform to search for a relevant concept. In sharing with the class, both profit from the knowledge and skill obtained.
This phase drives deeper into the core of the course. The instructor introduces the student to a conceptual problem and they move the problem from one to another, responding to one another's insights. For example, why can the passive voice work in the following: John is easy to pleas....converts to To please John is easy. But one speaks nonsense in converting the sentence , John is eager to please" to To please John is eager.
Here, most of the work is done for the instructor. The grades are recorded and averaged. The grades provide a good basis for student teacher conferences. The grades are private but may be viewed by the person graded. They may not see other's scores, however. On the other hand, all the grades are visible for the instructor.
Conferences are private and can be set up via email, phone or private cell. In rare cases, legal representation will be present.
In cases where the student's questions go beyond the quick answers given in Ask the Professor, tutorials may be useful. There are tutorials on most all subjects related to grmmar, to essay organization, to closure and beyond.
The benefits of being an online adjunct instructor with multiple online college courses in the online teaching schedule are manifold since the differences between teaching a college class on a physical university, community college or state college campus and teaching the same post-secondary material online are significant. For example, since all of the academic interactions with the students and the inherent administrative tasks associated with post-secondary instruction are located on the Internet, it is possible for an online college professor, a member of an online faculty, is employ an inexpensive laptop as a vehicle with which to arrive in the online college classes. Conversely, a traditional adjunct faculty member must use an expensive motor vehicle in order to arrive in a particular physical classroom and to move between physical campuses presuming there are more than one or two physical campuses in the area. Additionally, the same freedom from geographic restrictions works in the favor of the online teacher because this presence of accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs on the Internet allows an online faculty member to apply for online faculty openings with accredited online college degree programs many miles away from the location of the online professor. Ultimately, teaching online for multiple online college degree programs offering students the business management degree online, bachelor degree online psychology and the online masters degree in education is the best way for an individual with a Ph.D. or master's degree to earn a decent living from teaching college and university students.