Online Teaching Degrees and Teleconferences
If you are planning to work in a program that provides an online teaching degree, you should be aware that teaching will probably not be your only responsibility. Most online schools require their instructors to participate in teleconferences. Teleconferences may be required once a week. They are like a cross between a faculty meeting and a mini workshop. You are brought up to date on the latest policies of the organization, as well as on new navigation processes the organization is developing. Usually, you will have access to both a video and audio component in the teleconference. Your presence is recorded by roll call or registered electronically. If you miss sessions you are expected to make up the work you missed.
A typical online teaching degree program may address the policy on class participation. If you miss two sessions in a row, you will get an amber notice and if you miss three sessions in a row, you get a red zone notice. If you are in the red zone three times for a given course, you may not be invited back to teach another course.
Online Teaching Degree Instructional Techniques
If you are an instructor In an online degree program
you are expected to engage the student in participation. Some techniques of doing so are the following: Questioning the student. You may call on the student by clicking on his/her name and pose a question. You can acknowledge the participating students, you can ask a student to piggyback on the comments of another student, you can give an example, you can cite a case from your experience, you can refer to specific material in the text. If students are not participating, you can contact them via email to have private exchange. Otherwise, the idea is to get the student to share knowledge and skill with other students and this should be your goal as you move forward. Particpation and student teacher interaction is the heart and soul of the online teaching degree.
There is also a call for questions in most teleconferences and one recurrent question is invariably about pay and salary raises. Usually, the question is answered with laughter. There are no raises for adjuncts in programs offering online teaching degrees. The exception is an adjunct that is moving into an administrative role. Otherwise, the great reward the adjunct is seeking is the assurance of being invited back for the next term. But there are no assurances; you will not know if you will be invited back until just before the next session begins.
New Policies for Online Teaching Degree Programs
New policies are emerging all the time in online teaching degree programs-policies on grading, communicating with students, record keeping, procedures for working with problem students, how the instructor is being observed (via snapshots for example) and evaluated; reports on absences, new standards that are coming down from above, working effectively with your mentor, plagiarism policies, illness policies, makeup work and incompletes.
Remember that online teaching degree programs are unlike the academic model instructors have gotten used to for many years; they are now organized on business models and they show this in their emphasis on measurement. Some measurements are calculated for the instructor, such as grade averages. But be prepared to fill out spreadsheets and flow charts and the like. There is no mystery here. Most online teaching degree programs are privately owned; they are designed by profit organizations and they are therefore run as a business.
The instructors in an online teaching degree program are evaluated on competencies listed on a grid. If any of the competencies are weak, the instructor is advised to take a workshop in those so indicated. The mentor assigned to the teacher is charged with the responsibility of seeing that those follow up courses are taken and satisfactorily completed by their assigned instructors. In this way, the organization hopes to maximize performance. And remember, there is always the looming threat of the red zone and of not being invited back for the next term. This message is loud and clear for most instructors.
Sometimes a class does not make, and if you have set up the course, you will get paid a flat amount for having set it up. Set ups include giving directions to students to read the overview of the course, to read the Announcements which includes your office hours, your policies on plagiarism, late work penalty, dropping and adding. You can set up the course so that the correct week is triggered once you are to start a new week. If the student needs counseling, tutoring, special help with documentation, or the use of APA, there are links to all of these sources and this should be in your announcements. The announcements are intended to reach all students. In most courses there are objective exams every week. Some of these exams are timed, so it is important to tell the students; otherwise, some may not finish the test. It is possible, in most cases, to reset the exam, but this should be held to a minimum. These essentials show up in online schools, associate's degree online and online business schools.
Occasionally, students may register a complaint against an online adjunct instructor. The charge may be lack of feedback, disrespect shown the one making the charge in the presence of other students. The student may challenge the amount of work submitted or the record of absences. This is why it is of utmost importance to document and file everything registering the student's performance and your own. Depending on the severity of the allegations, the instructor must produce documents to counter the student's charges. Charges such as this sometimes end up in a three way conference which will include you, the student and a dean. It is best to resolve these issues internally before it possibly becomes a legal matter. This is why it is necessary to keep thorough and accurate records. The foregoing are but a skeleton of the tasks you will be expected to perform which may not necessarily be directly connected to actual teaching.
There can be little doubt anymore about the enthusiasm new and returning college students have for earning online bachelor degree programs and online master's degree programs using their personal computers to enroll in and participate in online college classes. Of course, each online course in an accredited online college degree programs needs a qualified online adjunct instructor with an earned graduate degree, a master's degree or doctorate degree, and the technical skills necessary to navigate in and out of online college courses each day. Online adjunct teaching positions can be applied for at the many online degree programs that offer college students the bachelor degree online and the master degree online. The for-profit colleges are a very good section of post-secondary academic institution to start looking for online college courses to teach.