Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

ken-theimer-PoE6Q48B-5k-unsplashEach week we will summarize all the online adjunct jobs we’ve added to AdjunctWorld during the week for easy reference.

If you’d like to be notified right after we post a new online teaching job in your discipline area, giving your application a jump start, consider becoming a Premium Member!

This week we posted 51 Online Adjunct jobs from 22 schools.

We at AdjunctWorld wish you the best of luck in your job search. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Brooke for more information.

This Week’s Online Teaching Job Summary

19 Online Teaching Positions – ECPI University

4 Online Teaching Positions – UNC Pembroke

3 Online Teaching Positions – Cameron University

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: AIU Online, American Public University System, Genesee Community College, Iowa Wesleyan University, Kaplan, Inc., Liberty University, Limestone University, Marquette University, Montserrat College of Art, Northcentral University, Post University, Rize Education, San Ignacio University, Saybrook University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, TCSPP, Unity College, University of Phoenix, and Western Governors University.

 

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Posted by & filed under AdjunctWorld Resources.

tabea-schimpf-9-xfYKAI6ZI-unsplashOnline courses are now prevalent in higher education—and that includes two-year colleges, state universities, and private colleges. As such, the options for teaching as an online adjunct is, if not limitless, pretty far-ranging.

You can teach as an online adjunct faculty member at any level of higher education: community colleges, four-year universities both private and public, and for-profit colleges. To determine your eligibility, you will have to narrow your search and look closely at the requirements each college holds. There are limitations ranging from required degrees and experience to your state residency status.

The challenge, then, is to hunt down the vacancies for these positions. Where do you start? And where can you get some initial experience in creating and implementing an online course? One answer would be, close to home.

Colleges in Your City and County

Begin with where you are; after all, you may have contacts where you live who can help you get a foot in the door for teaching online. By way of example, let’s begin with where I am: Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is a municipality that covers the whole of Jefferson County and is home to 13 colleges, ranging from two-year to four-year and spanning from public to private.

Of the public colleges, the University of Louisville is the largest and most visible, a four-year institution, and it’s followed by Jefferson Community and Technical College, a two-year community college. Others, like Bellarmine University and Spalding University, are private but still fairly large and well-attended. There are also for-profit schools like Galen College of Nursing, a two-year college that focuses on, you guessed it, nursing.

A quick search for “online adjunct teaching” jobs in Louisville, Kentucky, quickly turned up two positions at Galen College of Nursing—in the areas of philosophy and cultural diversity. Expect the unexpected! Galen is an accredited college, and one with campuses across the country, and you might not suspect that your philosophy degree can be used here, a nursing college.

As far as colleges in Louisville go, I can also look across the Ohio River to southern Indiana, where Indiana University Southeast and Ivy Tech Community College find their homes. Ivy Tech, for one, appears to also be hiring for a philosophy instructor, and some of the options for that coursework include online teaching.

In all cases, and because people in Louisville frequently teach in southern Indiana, and vice versa, networking is entirely possible.

Colleges Far From Home

Part of the experience of teaching as an online adjunct is that you don’t have to work solely for colleges close to home. You can teach anywhere in the country—even anywhere in the world—and the students will be as close as your screen.

simon-berger-t6zocP52Fg0-unsplashIf I shift my attention to out-of-state jobs (scrolling, for the moment, through AdjunctWorld’s job listings), I find that just this week, ECPI University (a private, for profit school with a home base in Virginia Beach, VA) uploaded 17 online teaching postings in a wide variety of discipline areas, including English, criminal justice, information systems and technology, business, and healthcare administration.

Note, however, that to teach at ECPI University that one will need to meet credentialing requirements through the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS). But this is precisely the investment one might want to make to teach in another state. In the long run, that credentialing might open the door to more opportunities. Additionally, for many of these positions, having online teaching experience is “a plus”, but not necessarily required.

No matter the requirements, it pays to look beyond one’s region. Unity College is an excellent example that has very different requirements.

Colleges That Align with Your Vision

Unity College of Maine is enthusiastic about sustainability. “Distance Education Adjuncts” teach a number of their courses remotely. If you, too, hold environmental sustainability as a value, then you may want to look into a college like Unity, who, historically, posts open online adjunct positions in a wide variety of discipline areas. In other words, Unity College not only offers sustainability-specific courses, but also seeks distance educators to teach Spanish, communications, mathematics, and chemistry. Talk about a common vision!

Also, within each discipline area, there are a variety of courses one could teach – and at Unity, these courses would have an environmental conservationist lean. For example, under the umbrella of “Communications” one could teach Environmental Communication, Crisis Communication, Writing for Environmental Professionals, and more. Same with “Biology,” which includes Conservation Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Biodiversity, and more. If conservation is of deep interest to you, then this would lend your teaching a pointed purpose.

Religious schools also, as you might suspect, hold their values in esteem. Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is a private Evangelical college that expects its faculty to adhere to a Christian worldview. The potential candidate must consider this when applying to teach any of its number of online courses, including business, healthcare administration, and information systems. For some, this may be a limitation, and for others, an opportunity.

Experience, and How to Get it

An online job search turned up a call for teaching applicants from Monroe College in the Bronx for its Master of Public Administration program. Three roles are offered in what could be an entirely online class, though the requirements to teach—it is a graduate program, after all—are quite stringent.

thought-catalog-505eectW54k-unsplashBeing a specific program, a master’s degree in public administration, or an equivalent area, is required, as well as five years—or more!—of teaching at the master’s level in an online setting, in addition to professional experience of at least three years.

But Villanova University in Philadelphia is hiring in the same field for its online undergraduate and graduate programs and its requirements are not as stringent. Its minimum qualifications call for having an MPA or a master’s degree in a related field—but having taught isn’t required at all! Rather, it is a “preferred” qualification, but even there a specific number of years isn’t detailed.

While the Monroe College position may seem extreme in its requirements, I point it out to suggest that, for a position like Villanova which is perhaps less demanding in its requirements, one might be able to begin now to build experience in teaching online. How?

Designing Your Own Online Course for Experience

Creating your own course can help you hone your skills in course development, teaching skills, and time management. It’s a good way to dip your toe in the proverbial water!

Platforms like Thinkific—which boasts more than 50,000 course creators—or MoodleCloud, an open-source platform, or Teachable (they boast more than 100,000 course creators), to name several brand names, each allow you to create course content and deliver it in an online learning platform.

Sharing what you love, even with a small group to begin, will give you a taste of what teaching in an online environment might be like, whether that’s a good fit for you, and best of all, how to do it so that it works for you and your students.

Where Can You Teach Online? Start the Job Search

An astonishing number of online adjunct faculty jobs are posted on any number of job boards online. Just this week alone, AdjunctWorld uploaded 56 online adjunct teaching jobs to its job search database, from 25 different college and universities.

benjamin-dada-EDZTb2SQ6j0-unsplashWhat each school requires must be researched, of course, but this will begin to give you a sense of where the jobs lie. It seems important at this point to mention that the first place you might want to teach is a college that actively recruits teachers who don’t have tons of experience! Small colleges in rural areas, for example, may struggle to find good teachers—and you may fit their bill. Working at a college for even a year gives you a big step up in the hiring process. Three years, even better.

In any regard, start now. Begin with researching and get a clear sense of requirements, then work to meet those requirements. So long as they line up with your vision, your pursuit will not be in vain!

Posted by & filed under Online Teaching Resources.

joshua-mayo-KboMbhlRgGY-unsplashLeading class discussions, and encouraging discussion among students, is one of the most important factors of a successful online class. In the asynchronous format, discussion will look a lot different from what we might expect of teaching—a professor behind a lectern at the head of a classroom calling on raised hands. Well, an online class won’t look anything like that, of course, but the benefits of discussion held entirely through a remote class has benefits galore.

Some of the benefits of an asynchronous discussion include more learning for students, the opportunity to collaborate and make connections between students, and an overall improvement in learning. A lot of research has been done over the years to back up these claims, too. Just having that distance—and the time—to formulate answers allows students, in many respects, greater mastery over the content. How?

We’ll look at some research done over the past twenty years to get a sense of how it is that students make out rather well by being able to respond to prompts through discussion boards, share their thinking and learning, and get feedback that counts.

Some Misconceptions About Online Discussions

The fact we need to talk about the benefits of online discussions sort of implies that the whole idea of it needs to be defended. In a way, it does, and that’s because, given the model of the professor at the head of the class asking questions, it’s difficult to imagine how one can achieve that kind of atmosphere online. If you’re beginning a career as an online adjunct, the question as to the efficacy of online discussion forums is probably a prime one.

Can you lead a class discussion like this online? Actually, is it even about your “leadership”? Not entirely. But the thing is, you don’t necessarily want to do it that way. There are better ways to guide the discussions. The online discussion led by students might even be superior!

shubham-sharan-Z-fq3wBVfMU-unsplashOlla Najah Al-Shalchi of the College of William and Mary in Virginia says this: “When people hear about distance education, they sometimes fear that students will be missing a great deal of interaction, communication, and participation.” That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? But, as he continues, “This is a misconception that needs to be addressed so that people will begin to appreciate the advantages of distance education and what it has to offer.”

The first thing to understand is that students can, in fact, interact online. And they do. “At times,” Al-Shalchi says, “there is more interaction that takes place in online discussions than in traditional classrooms.”

Let’s point out a distinction here: an asynchronous discussion does not expect a student to show up at a specific time to participate in the discussion. This can actually allow for more interaction, and the benefits of this are enormous.

What Do Students Say About Asynchronous Discussions?

Discussion forums—at least according to some of the student evaluations we’ve seen—can be boiled down to a few good reasons as to why they’re effective.

  1. The discussion forum allows students to dig deeper into the material. They’re actually able to spend more time with the material.
  2. The discussion forum, done correctly, allows students to say what they need to say without fear of judgment and reprisal. They can actually learn through their mistakes—and also their successes.
  3. Students quickly get the idea that the instructor is entirely available to them—even if they never sit in the professor’s office!
  4. The students appreciate the community that evolves around the discussion forum, and especially the community between the students themselves.

“One key advantage,” says the Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University, “is that student learning and thinking become more visible. Instructors and teaching assistants can make use of additional time to develop intentional and thoughtful feedback.”

They are not suggesting that brick-and-mortar classroom time is wasted, but rather that the space and time created by an asynchronous discussion forum allows for more flexibility of thought. Everyone, teachers included, has more time and more breathing room to craft thoughtful responses.

The Freedom of Online Discussion

christin-hume-slbqShqAhEo-unsplashThere are a lot of benefits to asynchronous discussions, but let’s start with one of the most general ones here. Two Canadian professors, Elizabeth Murphy and Elizabeth Coleman, cowrote a paper in 2008 that pointed out a number of benefits of online discussions, and a major factor was control.

In the asynchronous discussion, control lies more with the student than the instructor—and one major control is over the pace of the discussion. Contributing at their own pace means, as the authors write, that students “have time to reflect on their and others’ comments.” Additionally, students who are shy, and those who move slower, benefit from an “equalizing effect” from being able to control that pace. That means no competition, no “you answered the question before I could even raise my hand”!

As you might imagine, there is the “freedom from temporal and spatial constraints.” Because an asynchronous class allows students to learn independent of time and space, it encourages self-directed learning. That, in turn, allows for more interaction and flexibility in communication because a student can reach out for help when they need to.

“Other benefits that have been identified by researchers,” the authors write, “include opportunities for constructing and negotiating meaning, engaging students in meaningful online dialogue, promoting critical thinking processes, and achieving higher levels of abstract cognitive processes than in face-to-face communication. Other benefits include more careful, formal and reflective responses and an increased motivation to participate and to write well due to the presence of a real audience and purpose for communicating.”

Let’s look a little deeper.

If Students Have Time, Students Use the Time Well

Imagine a scenario, if you haven’t already experienced this yourself: You, as a teacher, are standing in front of a classroom of, oh, twenty-four students. You’re discussing the impact of a business idea, or maybe a theme in James Joyce’s Ulysses, or a controversy with a certain educational trend. You ask a question, then open it up to students, and…then what?

You might find that in a lot of cases, your question is met with silence. Are you surprised? After all, a student has to not only think, but think quickly. And given that they maybe pored over an assigned reading days before, they might have, you know, forgotten some stuff. What pressure!

windows-v94mlgvsza4-unsplashOnline classes can avoid this issue because students have time. Imagine this, instead: a question is posed on an online discussion board, and the student reads it. But they know they have days, or maybe even a week, to answer! So what do they do?

One thing they do is extra research. Now a student can consult a textbook or do a little research outside of that. They can think about it over the course of days, maybe even begin to draft a response. Without the rush, a response to a prompt given by the instructor—or even a response to something another student has posted—can be thought out far more carefully. The draft, their answer, can be revised over time, too.

And what does that do for the student? Why, it takes away the stress.

Stefan Hrastinski, in a 2008 research paper, had this to say: “The receiver has more time to comprehend a message because an immediate answer is not expected.” That is to say, having more time increases a student’s ability to process information. In one of the interviews with students that Hratinski conducted, a student said, “In the [asynchronous discussions] it is easier to find more facts, maybe have a look in a book and do more thorough postings.”

That thoroughness is what we want to draw out of students. Careful, well-considered responses will make the student feel confident and capable, too. An increase in the ability to process information means more control for students. Olla Najah Al-Shalchi points out that asynchronous discussions prompt students to do this informed research before posting—basically, it prevents them from making uninformed comments and saves them from looking foolish!

We might overlook the obvious, too: a student is allowed the time to first of all log in and then read what everyone has posted to that point. This is different from showing up to class ten minutes late because there is no “late” to begin with! The student enters the discussion prepared—and confident.

The Social Benefits of Online Discussion

An asynchronous discussion among students can actually create enduring social relationships. “Sharing ideas” was a big finding for researcher Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas—that sharing of ideas opens up whole new worlds for students. Here’s the thing: in a classroom, given the time constraints (maybe an hour or two?) not everyone is going to be able to participate. But in an online forum, everyone can participate—and will most likely be expected to, if the class is set up correctly—and because of that the views and perspectives multiply!

mapbox-ZT5v0puBjZI-unsplashAs Biesenbach-Lucas points out in a 2003 paper, students can conceptualize a topic from diverse viewpoints and contribute to each other’s understanding. The asynchronous discussion provide structured opportunities to engage with course material in a way that everyone can chime in and add to the discussion. In this fashion, the class becomes collaborative.

“Learners actively construct their own learning by engaging themselves and others in reflective explorations of ideas, drawing conclusions based on their explorations and synthesizing those conclusions with previous knowledge in what is most often a non-linear process,” he writes. “In this process of learning, students are engaged in more inductive, problem-solving activities as opposed to deductive, analytic teacher-based exercises and lectures, and instructors may prompt students’ engagement by providing open-ended questions and problems that require discussion and collaborative work to answer/solve.”

That’s a bit heady, but let’s simplify: online discussions can mediate communication not only between the student and instructor, but between students themselves. The students are not just memorizing rote information, they actively become problem-solvers. Students exchange the ideas of each other, and not just the teacher. In fact, the teacher’s role can diminish from being the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.”

Getting advice from other students proved, in many research studies, a common theme. Students also suggested that online discussions helped them get a better grasp of the course content from lectures, readings, and assignments.

Critical Thinking in the Asynchronous Discussion Forum

All of this suggests, as research has confirmed, that asynchronous discussions lead to what we most want students to develop: critical thinking. With control over the pace of the discussion, the time allowed them to do research and make well-thought contributions, and the collaborative spirit of a course where everyone joins the discussion, a student naturally cultivates a deeper understanding.

Consider that this critical thinking happens both in collaboration with other students and under the guiding hand of the professor, as well. When the tone of the discussion is monitored—and many researchers have expressed the need to keep the tone positive and respectful—then the class can ultimately be a memorable one.

In other blog posts, we’ll look at examples of asynchronous discussions and ways to facilitate them. These are important tools that will empower students.

References

Al-Shalchi, O. (2009). The effectiveness and development of online discussions. Journal of Online Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 104-108. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.556.5914&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Biesenbach-Lucas, S. (2003). Asynchronous discussion groups in teacher training classes: Perceptions of native and non-native students. Journal of Asynchronous Learning, 7(3), 24-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v7i3.1843

Brown University (n.d.) Asynchronous strategies for inclusive teaching. The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. https://www.brown.edu/sheridan/asynchronous-strategies-inclusive-teaching

Hratinski, S. (2008). Asynchronous and synchronous e-Learning. Educause Quarterly, 31(4).   http://anitacrawley.net/Resources/Articles/Asynchronous%20and%20Synchronous%20E.docx

Murphy, E., & Coleman, E. (2004). Graduate students’ experiences of challenges in online asynchronous discussions. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 30(2). https://www.learntechlib.org/p/43066/

Posted by & filed under AdjunctWorld Resources.

visual-stories-micheile-lZ_4nPFKcV8-unsplashAccording to ZipRecruiter, as of September 15, 2021, the average annual pay for an online adjunct faculty is $63,542. To put that in perspective, ZipRecruiter points out that this might work out to be a little over $30 an hour.

Given the average pay—and one can certainly earn less, or even significantly more—it is entirely possible to maintain a career of teaching online courses as an adjunct instructor in higher education. (See our article titled How Much Money Does an Adjunct Make Teaching Online? for more information). The need for faculty to teach online courses is growing, as well, and this promises more jobs in the future.

There are many factors that determine whether being an online adjunct faculty can make you a decent living. You’ll need to do some research, naturally. That said, you are not limited in what you can do. Here are some examples.

Teach Further Away Than You Imagine

Let’s look at Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus. In a page dedicated to becoming an online instructor for BYU-Idaho, they make a case for a career teaching in an online format. Granted, to teach at BYU-Idaho, you must be a member of the Mormon church, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you are. What do they offer?

For one, the online adjunct faculty does not develop curriculum. There is no need to design or maintain a course—it’s entirely taken care of by the university. Likewise, there is no preparation of lesson plans or lectures that fall on the instructor’s shoulders. The teacher does, however, lead discussions and grade assignments. As an instructor, you would learn how to do all this via a paid training.

BYU-Idaho pays $1,150 per credit if you have at least a master’s degree, and $1,050 if you have a bachelor’s degree—which means, of course, you don’t need a master’s to start teaching. You’ll likely find that this pay is fairly generous, in comparison with other schools. Add the fact that you don’t have to commute (and Idaho is most likely fairly far from you!), and you will find that this is a good salary.

john-mark-smith-gtCWBwbZNpM-unsplashHere’s an interesting note: you can live in most other states beside Idaho and teach in the BYU-Idaho programs. There are only 20 out of 50 states where BYU-Idaho does not have permission to hire, and those are all indicated on their website.

Granted, the limitations of teaching at BYU-Idaho (most notably, the requirement of church membership) will likely cull quite a few instructors from the pool—or most, reasonably. But that by no means suggests that other colleges don’t follow suit, allowing out-of-state employees to teach their classes. And best of all, as I’ve mentioned, there is no commute. So it just goes to show that a pay rate set high because of the cost of living in a certain city (like San Francisco) or state (like California) can be stretched by living somewhere more reasonably priced.

Online Courses are Everywhere

To look at a school with less specific requirements, consider New Mexico State University. Their “Temporary College Instructor” jobs are, by and large, online—and they will expect at least some online teaching experience. They will also expect some teaching with adult learners (as is often the case with online classes, where students are working and raising families) and experience with Canvas, a learning management system.

For a class in General Education, the posted salary is $4,500 per 3-credit course. These courses, which are 8 weeks, are offered twice per semester. Hypothetically, teaching four of these courses a semester would net the instructor $18,000, and doing this over the course of two semesters nets $36,000. The college specifically says, after all, that an instructor can teach one or more of the courses.

It’s important to note, too, that these are lower-division general education courses, at the 100 or 200 level. They will prove demanding in some respects and less demanding in others. Assuming that the demands even out, $4,500 is close to three times the amount that other colleges might offer for a semester-long course.

Online Adjunct Teaching is a Growing Field

The projected job growth for postsecondary teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, will be 9 percent between 2019-2029. Folded into that number are jobs in online adjunct faculty teaching.

emmanuel-ikwuegbu-MSX3O-Sqa8U-unsplashIn general—and the coronavirus pandemic proved this—online teaching has become a standard. “NTI,” non-traditional instruction, was implemented across the country, in some cases for more than a year; such was the case in the public schools of Louisville, Kentucky, for example. Certainly, there are pros and cons to such learning environments, but one thing we arguably came out of the pandemic with was an appreciation for online learning. And for many kids who did it, whether in elementary or high school, they got, most importantly, a taste for it.

In that regard, those yet to graduate high school will come to expect options like online learning—and colleges are already following suit by offering more. Adult students often require such courses, which they must fit between the obligations of their jobs and families. As more adults change careers and expand their horizons, more online classes will be created to fill that need. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog, in some fields job growth in online courses may approach 23 percent!

Become an Online Adjunct Entrepreneur

Armed with a little wisdom, and a healthy sense of the job growth in higher education, the adventurous among us can see the possibility for building a career around teaching online courses. We need only know where to look for the jobs, mindful of their requirements. There is no standardization for those requirements, leaving online adjunct faculty with many possibilities. For those interested in pursuing a career in online teaching, you might click to learn more about our 4-week course titled OnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job.

Posted by & filed under AdjunctWorld Resources.

estee-janssens-aQfhbxailCs-unsplashThe online adjunct professor does not work a 9-to-5 job. Far from it. Even for full-time faculty members, the majority of whom teach in a traditional classroom setting, that typical, 1950’s-era thinking regarding the daily grind doesn’t hold true. Still, the typical full-time faculty member has to hold to some traditions like classroom times, office hours, and so on, and those generally tend to fall in a Monday through Friday schedule. This does not hold true for online adjuncts, where the “schedule,” including how many hours one works, can be far more flexible.

The number of hours that an online adjunct professor might work can vary considerably. Whether they even approach a 40-hour workweek depends largely on how many courses they teach, how many schools they teach for, and the amount of work each course entails. It can be, depending on the institution one works for, considerably less than 40 hours.

As an online adjunct instructor, you have some freedom to choose how many hours you work. That will depend on the requirements of the university or college you work for, some of which we’ll look at here.

Office Hours in the Online Classroom

To begin, the first thing to find out is this: What office hours am I expected to keep? Typically, those office hours will be factored in per class. It may be as little as one hour per week, per class. On the outside, you could even figure two hours.

In the online environment, however, that fixed number may prove unnecessary. You may keep no office hours, preferring to respond to student questions via email. In that case, though, you could set yourself an established time of one or two hours per week to respond to students.

The fact is that, naturally, the online adjunct is not going to be expected to keep “office hours” in the way we imagine. For one, they have no “office”! And secondly, the fact that the course is online and, hence, flexible, allows for a different design on the class, where the instructor can allow for a number of ways for students to have their questions answered.

Time Spent in the Online Classroom

Next, how long will your class actually run? If your course is “live,” offered through a feed, then you will naturally factor in the time of the actual class meeting. An hour? Three hours? That depends on the class.

But for those online adjuncts who teach in the traditional asynchronous online classroom there will not be a regular class meeting! There may be discussions held via discussion boards, in which case that time will have to be factored into your week.

Prep Work and Grading

We all know that prep work and grading takes time—sometimes lots of time. The majority of the time spent on the online class could very well fall into this category. But again, it all depends!

Some colleges will offer a preexisting curriculum, as well as assignments. That would save, of course, a lot of time in prepping. If that is not the case, then one has to think about how long it would take to assemble a syllabus, calendar, assignments, and lesson plans. If you’ve never taught a course before, that work all comes up front, but later, you can fall back on what you’ve already created.

green-chameleon-s9CC2SKySJM-unsplashGrading—especially if you are teaching, say, composition—can take a lot of time. That said, if you intend to correct every misspelling or incidents of faulty comma usage, you may be setting yourself up for catastrophe. Use evaluation time well; remember that students will often have access to things like writing labs and tutors, and for many instances you can refer them to staff that can help with things not entirely in your domain—library personnel, for example, who can help with research.

Use your time well, schedule reasonably, and you may find that a class need not take a lot of time. Is there a standard measurement? Let’s look at one.

What Does the Federal Government Say?

In order for colleges to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the federal government set some standards. They are as follows:

In order to give college adjunct faculty a fair shake, the federal government set hours-based equivalents for classes, and these diverge from the credit hours a college assigns. For each “classroom hour,” a college must count 2.25 work hours. Thus, if a class meets three hours a week, the hours worked would be 6.75. So let’s round up and say, for the sake of argument, that being assigned a 3-hour class—that is, a 3 credit-hour class—means about 7 hours of work.

Now add, per class, one office work hour per week. That is also an ACA requirement. That means, in all, the federal government supposes that your teaching of one 3-credit hour class is worth roughly 8 hours.

With this equation, teaching five classes would fall to about a 40-hour work week. You would be working, at least according to this standard, 38.75 hours. Naturally, you can assume that some classes would take longer, but that others would take less. But this may serve as a baseline—how many hours could you reasonably commit to a class?

Organize Your Online Teaching Work Week

One advantage in teaching an online course is that you can really determine your own schedule. Need to take Friday off? You can. Want to work on Saturday for a few hours to make up for it? You can do that as well. Mornings, evenings, in either case, it is what works for you—and also what kind of parameters you establish with the students.

If you are clear from the outset, the students will know what to expect. How long can they expect to receive a reply to an email they sent? We can safely say that 24 hours is a standard of courtesy. In fact, with questions in general, factor in the commitment of perhaps an hour on given days to answer questions. You can even set that hour up as an “office hour,” and let students know when you will be available to answer questions. Keep it regular; that benefits both the student and you!

kelly-sikkema--nz-GTuvyBw-unsplashI say this because the alternative is attending to your class-related responsibilities helter-skelter, which only eats up more time. You don’t want to interrupt what you’re doing to answer a random email, no matter how important. It may be wise to tell students that, once you post an assignment, you will be available for 24 hours to answer any questions regarding it. Then set a time for later in the week for additional questions.

In short, forge a schedule. Remember, too, that you will likely have multiple classes that need attending to. If you are efficient with your time, you may find that you have more time to commit to the class. And that can well mean the ability to take on more classes!

The Bottom Line (Literally)

So how many hours does an online adjunct work? As a baseline, say roughly twice the number of credit hours a week. But to be realistic, if not a bit liberal, you could multiply the credit hours by 2.5 instead. If you’re teaching a 4-credit hour class, give yourself 10 hours, factor it onto your calendar, and stick with it. Then, you could add in an additional hour for the requisite office hours. Let’s say that a 4-credit hour class will demand 11 hours a week of you, spread over lesson planning, maintaining the online class, and evaluating student work.

For a 3-credit hour class, which is a standard class, figure 8 hours a week. With that as a baseline number, now you can really answer the question of how many hours you can work with how many classes you can realistically teach. You could potentially teach four to five classes, for sure, and keep within your time restraints.

Be realistic with your time. Evaluation of student work should be helpful, of course, but also to the point. Even high school teachers know that you can’t spend an hour on a single essay from a single student. If a single class of 24 students all have an essay due at once, that would be a lot of grading (an understatement, I know). So it is wise, too, to really give yourself time to go through the work carefully—and let students know when they might expect the work back with your comments. A week is probably fair.

mitchell-hollander-8b1cWDyvT7Y-unsplashOne important thing to remember is that the weeks can well vary. Some weeks may require little to no additional work. Others—especially if you are teaching freshman composition—will require a substantial amount of time in a single burst. Plan it out beforehand. Set limits on how long a student may meet with you: 15 minutes? Half an hour?

Another important factor is how many courses a college will allow you to teach. Many will limit you to 29 hours, based on the federal government’s equation. This is one of the main reasons that many adjuncts work at numerous colleges.

And remember, too, that much of these numbers depend on what you’re teaching. Some courses will require far less evaluative work, for example. A math class could be set up with quizzes graded by a computer program rather than sitting in your office poring over 5-page essays. Some classes will not need such a tremendous amount of time.

The best you can do is to look at job boards and college websites and ask questions. Be clear on expectations for office hours, the amount of work a student will need to do to meet the standards, and so on. Once you have this knowledge, you can set your own hours and adhere to them.

Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

suad-kamardeen-ItFTJoh1A8c-unsplashEach week we will summarize all the online adjunct jobs we’ve added to AdjunctWorld during the week for easy reference.

If you’d like to be notified right after we post a new online teaching job in your discipline area, giving your application a jump start, consider becoming a Premium Member!

This week we posted 47 Online Adjunct jobs from 25 schools.

We at AdjunctWorld wish you the best of luck in your job search. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Brooke for more information.

This Week’s Online Teaching Job Summary

8 Online Teaching Positions – Paul Quinn College

6 Online Teaching Positions – AIU Online

5 Online Teaching Positions – Southern New Hampshire University

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: Bellevue University, Bowling Green State University, Bryan University, Capella University, Community College of Baltimore County, Concordia University Chicago, CSU Global, CTU-Online, Georgia Military College, Grand Canyon University, Grand View University, Life University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Naropa University, Nebraska Indian Community College, Purdue University Global, Rize Education, Sacred Heart University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Simmons College, Syracuse University, and University of Maryland Global Campus.

 

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Posted by & filed under AdjunctWorld Resources.

eric-prouzet-B3UFXwcVbc4-unsplash“Expanding enrollment in online programs has concurrently created a demand for qualified faculty to assume the increasing workload,” writes Laurie Bedford, Ph.D., of Capella University. “As full-time faculty have been unable to fill the gap due to workload or resistance, organizations are more frequently turning to adjuncts to meet the needs of their online learners.” She said this, it should be noted, more than a decade ago. In the Fall of 2006 alone, there were 3.5 million online students in the United States. That number will only increase.

So what does this mean for you? Jobs.

In terms of the growth of online classes, online teaching is a good career choice. Rethinking what an “online adjunct instructor” is, or can be, can even make being an online adjunct faculty member a strong career choice. With enrollment in online programs expanding, there is naturally a demand for qualified faculty to teach online classes. Bedford’s paper—titled “The Professional Adjunct”—notes that a new category has been formed, the “full-time part-timers” who “are finding that they can build a network of opportunities with an entrepreneurial spirit.” Online adjunct instructors in many cases have already made their career a good choice.

Between full-time faculty and traditional part-time adjuncts lie the online adjunct instructors, the “third category” who, as Bedford explains, “capitalize on the need for organizations to hire competent, part-time professors who have significant expertise in their discipline as well as the demonstrated skills necessary to successfully mentor online learners.” Sound like you? Let’s look closer at this field.

Is Online Adjunct Teaching a Good Career Move?

In Bedford’s paper “The Professional Adjunct,” she points out some attitudes of online instructors themselves that make the case of the online adjunct-as-career choice a strong one, if not an enduring one.

For one, there is a need, and that need is an increasing demand as online courses proliferate. In the post-pandemic world, this is more and more evident. That need gives the online adjunct “negotiating power.” Full-time faculty, apparently, are resistant to teaching such courses, and that leaves the market wide open…for you. Additionally—and this is important—the online adjunct instructor is not constrained by geography or scheduling.

rupixen-com-HhNe16wgVFg-unsplashIn short, Bedford finds, the online adjunct faculty “are finding that, as they build their competencies, they are situated to capitalize on a growing market for their skills that involves multiple opportunities for part-time positions with diverse organizations.”

Bedford’s paper is, in fact, a research paper, and her findings may offer an answer as to whether one can be a professional online adjunct teacher. To undertake this study, she interviewed a number of online adjuncts who were clear in their attitude toward the profession. Let’s look at some of her findings.

What Makes a Good Online Adjunct?

Part of the answer to whether being an online adjunct instructor is a good choice is your teaching style. If online teaching is “a better professional and personal fit” to your teaching style, then you are likely looking in the right direction. You may enjoy using technology, just as you may appreciate the flexibility of coursework held entirely through collaborative, active online discussion forums. As you might well imagine, there are many current faculty members that are not fitted to the role of online teacher, neither professionally nor personally! There is a niche to fill.

On top of that, the “entrepreneurial spirit” that the adjuncts whom she studied maintain makes them look specifically for institutions that align with their goals, both professionally and personally. If one does cultivate a relationship with a particular university, one can achieve bargaining power. Using that power, for some online adjuncts, results in being “comfortably situated” and with “an appropriate compensation package” that benefits them.

The task is to think of yourself differently—not as “employed by the university” but “employed by yourself.

The Online Adjunct Instructor is “Self-Employed”

gabriella-clare-marino-ysy0GyP5UZY-unsplashThe participants in Bedford’s study “made conscious efforts to shift the focus from the challenges associated with part-time instructional work to the benefits of self-employment.” One online adjunct noted that self-employed people can still plan for retirement, get health insurance coverage, and budget for things like vacations.

Adjuncts in this position aim to redefine their roles as merely “part-time employees” to that of entrepreneurs who are ultimately in control of their lives—if a college doesn’t work out, look for work elsewhere. The difference is one between the “traditional adjunct” and the professional adjunct who recognizes his “unique skills and potential contributions.”

In fact, as one participant of the study noted, the online adjunct instructor may have more experience in the realm of online teaching than full-time faculty. According to a cited study, Bedford notes that “many campus-based faculty find themselves unprepared to teach online”—a fact not lost on the professional online adjunct.

Are Your Personal Motivations Grounded in Academics?

As some online adjuncts note, the idea of “teaching in your pajamas” is not the right reason to take a job teaching online courses, let alone working from home. Rather, many see themselves as academics with something to contribute to their field, as well as to their students.

The professional online adjunct faculty members, Bedford found, see themselves ideally as “sincerely interested in addressing the academic needs of diverse learners, working within an educational venue with which they are comfortable and confident, and engaging in scholarly discourse and activity with colleagues from broad-based backgrounds.”

Quality instruction makes a creditable online adjunct, and if you see yourself this way, ideally, then you are in a position to capitalize on your skills.

Perhaps we could use the word freelance to speak of teachers that fill the online adjunct positions. The word itself, which is often attributed to everything from writers to designers, was first used, according to Merriam-Webster, in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe, published in 1819. Right after Scott uses the term “Free Lances,” he has this to say, something which may well be applicable for those who choose to pursue teaching online courses as an adjunct: “thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment.”

And that, I would say, is a good attitude to uphold.

 

Reference:

Bedford, L. (2009). The Professional Adjunct: An Emerging Trend in Online Instruction. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 12(3). https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall123/bedford123.pdf

Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

nguyen-dang-hoang-nhu-dYUQI3dM4R4-unsplashEach week we will summarize all the online adjunct jobs we’ve added to AdjunctWorld during the week for easy reference.

If you’d like to be notified right after we post a new online teaching job in your discipline area, giving your application a jump start, consider becoming a Premium Member!

This week we posted 43 Online Adjunct jobs from 34 schools.

We at AdjunctWorld wish you the best of luck in your job search. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Brooke for more information.

This Week’s Online Teaching Job Summary

4 Online Teaching Positions – Lees-McRae College

3 Online Teaching Positions – Syracuse University

2 Online Teaching Positions – Franklin University

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: American Public University System, Bay College, Bellevue University, Belmont Abbey College, Bryan University, Capella University, Capitol Technology University, Centenary University, Des Moines Area Community College, ECPI University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Grand Canyon University, Husson University, Johns Hopkins University, Kirtland Community College, Liberty University, MCPHS, Naropa University, Northeast Electric Power University, Point University, Purdue University Global, Rize Education, Savannah College of Art and Design, Saybrook University, Southern New Hampshire University, Strayer University, Wake Forest University, West Georgia Technical College, Western Governors University, Western Technical College, and Young Harris College.

 

Premium Membership

premium buttonWould you like to be alerted to the jobs in your discipline(s) right after they are posted on AdjunctWorld, rather than waiting for this weekly summary? Over the past week we’ve sent out hundreds of daily job alert emails to Premium AdjunctWorld Members.  Click here for a description of all of the Premium Membership benefits and how to subscribe.

Thanks for being a part of the AdjunctWorld Community!

Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

danielle-macinnes-IuLgi9PWETU-unsplash (1)Each week we will summarize all the online adjunct jobs we’ve added to AdjunctWorld during the week for easy reference.

If you’d like to be notified right after we post a new online teaching job in your discipline area, giving your application a jump start, consider becoming a Premium Member!

This week we posted 57 Online Adjunct jobs from 23 schools.

We at AdjunctWorld wish you the best of luck in your job search. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Brooke for more information.

This Week’s Online Teaching Job Summary

14 Online Teaching Positions – University of Maryland Global Campus

9 Online Teaching Positions – Southern New Hampshire University

4 Online Teaching Positions – Northeast Electric Power University

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: Baker College, Bay Path University, Beyond Campus Innovations, Bowling Green State University, Bryant & Stratton College, CTU-Online, Eastern Oregon University, Florida International University, Galen College of Nursing, Indiana Wesleyan University, Kirtland Community College, Profhire, Inc., Rasmussen College, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Syracuse University, United States University, University of Maine at Augusta, University of the Western States, and Western Governors University.

 

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premium buttonWould you like to be alerted to the jobs in your discipline(s) right after they are posted on AdjunctWorld, rather than waiting for this weekly summary? Over the past week we’ve sent out hundreds of daily job alert emails to Premium AdjunctWorld Members.  Click here for a description of all of the Premium Membership benefits and how to subscribe.

Thanks for being a part of the AdjunctWorld Community!

Posted by & filed under Online Teaching Resources.

If you’ve been looking at media reports of the life of an adjunct college instructor, you’ve no doubt been made privy to all the, well, controversy. And a lot of people will say that being an adjunct—let alone an online adjunct—just isn’t worth it. But you ought to know up front: there’s a difference with the online adjunct.

javier-sierra-6jopFhZkGGk-unsplashThere are definite differences between a part-time adjunct instructor, including those that teach exclusively online, and a full-time, tenured faculty member. Much of the discussion of those differences has been given over to specific points like salary and health benefits. Whether you decide to pursue a career in adjunct teaching depends largely on what you want. There are differences, too, between an “on-ground” adjunct and an online adjunct.

There are benefits to being an online adjunct instructor. The time you commit to the job, particularly if you want control over your time, is one. The freedom from faculty responsibilities is another. Flexibility, which can range far beyond your career, is yet another.

Each of these reasons deserves some consideration. To enter the world of online adjunct teaching is a choice, and it is one that deserves your full consideration. If you’re truly considering teaching part-time as an online instructor, then let’s look at each benefit in turn.

The Benefits of Teaching Online Courses are Many

 The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (n.d.) posted five benefits to teaching online, based on what online instructors have to say about it.

  1. It’s convenient and flexible: Teachers can teach during non-traditional class times and from anywhere they have Internet access.
  2. More opportunity to get to know your students: The online course invites those who may be more comfortable in the distanced environment, increasing the number of perspectives that contribute to discussions.
  3. Opportunities for engagement and reflection: In an online course, students have more time to reflect and respond to discussion threads, and the instructor—you—get to see those well-thought-out responses. Because participation and discussion is a required part of distance education, no one can really hide in the back of the room. The online classroom thus engages everyone.
  4. Efficiency: Some systems use automated processes that will save time; for example, the D2L Quiz tool an instructor might use to reduce grading time.
  5. Instructors find the diversity enriching: The instructor’s experience, not to mention that of the students, is broadened when interacting with students from across the country, even from around the world.

Let’s look in detail at some of these benefits.

Teaching Part-Time, Not All the Time

icons8-team-dhZtNlvNE8M-unsplashThe responsibilities of a tenure-track professor are weighty. For many, the path to tenure requires work that exceeds that of actual teaching. Publishing, for example, requires a great deal of effort that is not required of part-time faculty, and as such, they are spared the research that goes with tenure territory. That research, as well as the pursuit of publications, are generally assembled into a portfolio that requires peer review. There is no such requirement for the online adjunct instructor—save a general teaching portfolio that they can assemble themselves.

The full-time faculty member is also subject to administrative duties that fall outside their teaching. The part-time instructor is spared these duties, as well, and so the majority of their attention is placed entirely on the course they are teaching. Aside from office hours, classroom meetings, and required institutional trainings the adjunct teacher need not commit to panels, boards, or committees.

There is no doubt that teaching an online class is itself a weighty responsibility, but so long as one gives all their attention to the class—in a fashion that best maximizes and economizes their time and effort—they won’t be distracted by outside pressures.

The Flexibility of Teaching as an Online Adjunct Instructor

 Being a part-time adjunct instructor entails, to at least a certain degree, a great deal of flexibility. If one teaches a class with a regular meeting time—a synchronous course, where a class may last perhaps an hour or two, sometimes more—then one must shape their schedules to that meeting time; full-time lecturing faculty will certainly need to do that, as well.

But if an online class does not have a regular meeting time, and if the class is asynchronous, meaning the schedule is dictated not by regular meeting times but due dates for assignments and discussion board responses, then there can be a great deal of flexibility. The online adjunct teacher can determine for themselves when they will be involved.

It can take a moment on a Monday morning to post a question for students, and from there, the instructor can determine when he or she will respond to student comments. Or, the online adjunct can make the conversation entirely student-centered! The online adjunct can also determine how much they will respond; if they have a lot to say and feel they have the time, they may respond extensively. If not, they may choose to leave much of the discussion to students, interjecting salient points here and there while maintaining an active presence overall.

The Flexibility of Choosing Courses and Colleges

robert-anasch-ZFYg5jTvB4A-unsplashThe deeper flexibility for the online adjunct instructor can reside in more simple decisions like how many courses they want to take on. With proper research into what a course entails—what will be expected of the students by the college to meet the requirements for the class credits—the teacher can determine how much they might reasonably be willing to take on. If you are in a situation where teaching one or two classes is feasible, you can. If you can handle more, you can do that, too.

In many cases, depending on what part of the country you live in, you may find yourself with choices as to where you want to teach—which is to say, which college. Larger cities frequently have several to choose from, and you may be able to teach regionally, as well, without leaving your home. Remember, we are talking about online courses here! Commuting will be expunged from your daily plan!

You are free, therefore, to choose courses to teach at several colleges. This can help you balance out responsibilities and salaries. It may also afford you choices in which courses you might teach.

As Todd Wallis writes in Inside Scholar, the Online Adjunct Professor might begin to consider themselves to be an Adjunct Entrepreneur. “In many ways,” he says, “adjunct professors are already free agents who should leverage their skills and experience as a professor to seek out higher-paying opportunities in the nonprofit or corporate world. But it all begins with a shift in mindset: adjunct professors have to start seeing themselves as adjunct entrepreneurs, not poorly paid, part-time teachers with no other options.”

This is an incredible and necessary mind shift. In a way, approaching the job market this way is little different from being a freelance writer, or a freelance designer: You are in control of what contracts you take on. It takes time, of course, to hunt down those contracts, and it may even take a few years to get the machine fully going. Start now!

Other Benefits to Teaching Online

There may be more benefits to being an online adjunct instructor than one might expect! For example, being an adjunct instructor at SUNY Orange—Orange County Community College—entitles the adjunct to take two credit-bearing courses per academic year free of charge. Eligible dependents of the adjunct may receive reduced tuition at the college. Professional development courses are offered through the human resources department, and the Learning Resource Center is open to adjuncts. Adjuncts can even use the Physical Education facilities.

Seminole State College in Florida offers an adjunct faculty award for excellence—attached to a monetary award! And I cannot emphasize enough how valuable it is for an adjunct to receive such recognitions.

Obviously, there are challenges to teaching online. One must understand technology and know-how to optimize its use. Facilitating discussions over the internet is markedly different from seeing a room of students before you. Goals, activities, and assessments all must be created specific to an online environment, where building the community that is the class will be very different.

But online adjunct teaching does not need to be a Herculean effort. If the class is outlined properly, and the students engaged, the benefits can prove lucrative, indeed.

References:

Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (n.d.). Benefits and Challenges of Online Instruction. https://www.mghihp.edu/faculty-staff-faculty-compass-teaching/benefits-and-challenges-online-instruction

Wallis, T. (n.d.). Hidden Benefits for Adjunct Instructors. InsideScholar.com.