Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

medicalert-uk-XjlyFT-ibd0-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 61 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

18 Online Teaching Positions – Husson University (6 listings, 1 listing has 13 Gen Ed disciplines listed)

6 Online Teaching Positions – Southern New Hampshire University

6 Online Teaching Positions – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP)

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: Abilene Christian College, Agate Development, American Public University System, Capella University, Colby Community College, Concordia University Chicago, Dakota State University, Fielding Graduate University, Georgia Military College, Grand Canyon University, Northcentral University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Saybrook University, Strayer University, Texas A&M International University, University of Lynchburg, Walden University, and Western Governors University.

 

Personalized Daily Job Alerts

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.

christina-wocintechchat-com-rBYYsIQcPBE-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 49 Online Adjunct jobs from 29 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

5 Online Teaching Positions – Grand Canyon University

4 Online Teaching Positions – Northcentral University

3 Online Teaching Positions – Purdue University Global

AdjunctWorld’s latest 10 Online Adjunct positions

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: AIU Online, American Museum of Natural History, American National University, Capella University, Concordia University Chicago, CSU – Global, CTU-Online, ECPI University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Franklin University, Johnson & Wales, Los Angeles Pacific University, Merrimack College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Pepperdine University, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Simmons University, South University, Southern New Hampshire University, Sutter Health, Tarrant County College, Texas A&M International University, Touro University Worldwide, University of Arizona Global Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, and William & Mary.

 

Personalized Daily Job Alerts

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 AdjunctWorld Resources.

sharon-mccutcheon--8a5eJ1-mmQ-unsplashI just typed “online adjunct instructor” into Glassdoor.com and got a very interesting, specific number: $57,613. Interesting because, as a career online adjunct instructor myself, the fact that this number can be calculated at all is baffling, given how much variability there is not only among adjuncts themselves, but also among schools. Also, is this the average yearly pay for someone who teaches as an online adjunct at one school? If so, this number (in my experience) is a little on the high side; or at least can be, depending on how many courses that school offers in a year. If this number represents someone who is teaching at three schools, able to offset a famine at one institution with a feast at the others, then 57k may not be too far off.

On the other hand, 57k is too low an estimate for someone with a solid reputation who has made a full time career out of teaching online at many schools. Over time, it certainly is possible to earn an even more comfortable living in this line of work. So $57,613 as an average, then, is not super representative. When you line up all the salaries possible across every online adjunct (those who teach for one small school and those who teach for many and larger universities), $57k may be somewhere in the middle (right of center probably) with many folks making much less and some making much more.

The problem with estimating how much money you’ll make teaching college courses online is that the nature of adjunct work is piecemeal, per-contract. When there is a course to teach, you are asked to teach it and you get paid for it. When there isn’t, you aren’t and you don’t. The work – and therefore the pay – is unpredictable. Online adjuncts often navigate this volatility by teaching at multiple schools or by sustaining a “day job” in their industry.

So, how much money does an adjunct make teaching online? The answer is: It depends.

Salary, or better said, the course contract rate, can vary greatly from school to school; it’s not apples to apples. Below, I will compare the known weekly rate at four institutions. Since each of these school has different term-lengths (5-week, 8-week, 10-week quarter, and 14-week semester), comparing across weekly rate seemed more illustrative than a “per course” comparison:

School/Term Length Pay Per Week Total Course Pay
School 1 (5-week term) $300 $1500
School 2 (8-week term) $488 $3900
School 3 (10 week quarter) $460 $4600
School 4 (14-week semester) $250 $3500

 

eunice-lituanas-bpxgyD4YYt4-unsplashAnd this simple chart doesn’t capture subtler but very important aspects of the course load – like whether or not the course is prepared and ready-to-go or how many students are in the class. But, more on that below.

The next questions you might ask are – “If these are the average going rates per class, per school, then how many classes can you teach at a time at a school? How many will you be promised per year? How stable are the teaching positions? I’d like to be able to estimate how much I might make per year if I teach for this school.” Online adjuncting isn’t much different from on-ground adjuncting in this regard – you aren’t promised anything, really, and you might not get a straight answer to these specific questions – not because anyone is being cagey, but because schools don’t know the answers until they see how enrollments shake out. However, the question that schools are comfortable answering (and one you’ll want to have in your back pocket for when you are interviewed!) is how many you are allowed to teach in a year. They are likely to tell you that answer as they can read it straight out of the faculty handbook/policy manual.

Because there is so much diversity and unpredictability in salary in the online adjunct world you have to be prepared to do some research, math, and critical thinking when determining the fairness and acceptability of an amount. You might be doing a lot of work for that $4600 or you may have the time of your life teaching a small, short class for $1500. When considering pay, you will want to consider the following:

The length of the term. A pay rate will sit differently with you depending on whether you are teaching in 5-week, 8-week, or semester-long terms. If a number looks low, you might be appeased to know the class is only 5-weeks (vs. 14), and vice versa. For this reason, it is not advised that you look only at contract rate per course. You’ll want to look at the per week rate or otherwise factor the length of the contract.

Typical course size. This one, in my experience, is the most important factor to consider. As a student-centered instructor, I aim to provide every student with individualized attention throughout a term. Large course sizes (>30), therefore, are much more time consuming than average-sized or smaller ones. Because I’ve taught many a large online class in my day, whenever I teach a course for a school that caps their enrollment at 25 or so but that continues to pay a standard or above standard rate, I’m thrilled! Not only do I get more time to pay attention to each individual learner, but the dollars per hour ratio packs more of a punch.

miguel-henriques--8atMWER8bI-unsplashIs the class plug-in-play, or does it need to be developed? If the class is ready to go for you (pre-designed), that takes out a lot of that prep time and you might be willing to take a slightly lower-than-average pay rate in this instance. If, on the other hand, the class is going to take a lot of prep work beforehand (you are developing it from the ground up, having to write the assignments, create the exams, decide on a textbook, create the discussion prompts, etc.) you might look at that seemingly “average” or “better than average” pay rate with a more critical eye.

Degree differential and seniority. Some schools will pay a bit more to someone with a doctoral degree than to someone with a master’s or they may offer increases in pay the longer you stay on.

Pay per enrollment. Some schools pay “per head,” or per student enrolled in your course (or per student who is still enrolled in your course after the final withdrawal date). This makes it hard to predict your income. Some schools will offer bonuses if you agree to teach an overenrolled class. Some will over-enroll and not offer any particular bonus.

Size of school. Large universities tend to pay a bit more than smaller schools, particularly smaller online schools who do not have a brick-and-mortar campus to boost them.

In sum, there is no easy answer to the question: How much money does an adjunct make teaching online? You can make nothing (if the school doesn’t have any courses for you to teach in a year) or you can make six figures (if you teach for a variety of schools and have pieced together a full time+ course load). The real answer is somewhere in between depending on a wide variety of factors. Hopefully the chart and considerations are helpful to you as you weigh the relative fairness or acceptability of an online teaching job pay rate.

 

Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

markus-winkler-Kn_l9o5220Y-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 26 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 – Texas A&M International University

4 Online Teaching Positions – Manhattan School of Computer Technology

4 Online Teaching Positions – California Intercontinental University

AdjunctWorld’s latest 10 Online Adjunct positions

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: Albany Law School, American Public University System, American Sentinel College of Health Sciences & Nursing, Capella University, CTU-Online, Georgia Military College, Herzing University, Hussian College, Liberty University, Life University, Quantic School of Business & Technology, Rasmussen College, South College of Tennessee, Southern California Institute of Technology, Southern New Hampshire University, St. Marys College of California, Strayer University, TCSPP, Trident University International, University of Maryland Global Campus, Walden University, West Liberty University, and Western Governors University.

 

Personalized Daily Job Alerts

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 AdjunctWorld Resources.

amy-hirschi-K0c8ko3e6AA-unsplashShould you have your curriculum vita (CV, also known as the “academic resume”) reviewed prior to applying for online teaching jobs?

Yes!

If a school asks for nothing else, they will ask for your CV. Curriculum vita, roughly translated, means “life’s work;” it is a document that shows how you, over the course of your adult life, have developed your expertise enough to render you a qualified instructor. It is the story of how your accomplishments, work history, publications, education, and awards coalesce into an expert prepared teach in the higher education environment.

In other words, the CV a very important document. To put a finer point on it, let’s review five reasons why you will want to have your online teaching CV reviewed.

Online teaching is a niche. There is a ton of information out there on how to write a CV. However, there aren’t as many resources available for writing an online teaching CV. If you are specifically looking for online teaching opportunities, you will want to make sure your application documents speak to that audience. A reviewer with these insights could be particularly beneficial.

The online teaching CV doesn’t deviate too much from an on-ground teaching CV, but the differences are important. We review some of these in our OnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job course. In general, an online teaching CV should paint you as a student-centered instructor who knows how to engage students in a distance learning environment, and as someone who can speak to and empathize with working adult students. Additionally, there are ways to emphasize your readiness to teach online even if you have no online teaching experience. Having someone review your CV to make sure these points come across loud and clear can be very helpful.

Checking the boxes and finding the errors. While a selection committee wants to read your story as told by your CV, they are also looking to check some boxes. Those boxes are the job requirements listed in their job posting. A reviewer can help you make sure your CV checks those boxes and does so obviously and convincingly. They can also help you compensate for requirements you may not exactly have, but kind of do. They can make suggestions for professional development you might pursue in order to check a box.

lauren-mancke-aOC7TSLb1o8-unsplashReviewers dot your i’s and cross your t’s. They can help you avoid common mistakes that people make on their CVs. They also will check for typos, unclear language, obnoxious formatting, and overuse of acronyms. If they’ve heard anything on your CV before (meaning it’s not necessarily wholly original) they can help you craft that into something that more authentically represents you.

This whole exchange is valuable in and of itself. This “thinking out loud” about your background with another person helps generate ideas that can strengthen your CV while also churning your gears in such a way as to inspire the rest of your application and your interview strategy.

Confidence boost. Successfully landing an online teaching job or developing a career as an online instructor is possible, but it can be a difficult journey. Rejections, unfortunately, are common. Often, you never get any helpful feedback about why you were not chosen. Questions arise…am I just not what they are looking for? Or is it something about my CV that is holding me back? If you have spent a good amount of effort, did thorough research, and got your CV reviewed by one or more knowledgeable people, you can check something off your worry list. “Nope, I know my CV is strong. So, it’s not that.” That can give you at least one answer in a game where there are few. This can boost your confidence when it comes to trying again, even if only a only a little bit. It is the trying again that will get you closer to landing a position.

Reviewed, not done.  The word “review” here is important. There are services out there who will actually create your CV for you. Which is definitely an option. However, there is a great deal of value to doing some research, understanding what a CV is and what it should include, and taking a stab at it yourself. And then having it reviewed. Why?

1) Doing it yourself orients your thinking. The process of preparing your CV can teach you a lot about yourself. If the adage “it’s the journey, not the destination” holds true, then it would stand to reason that creating your own CV will help you develop this skill as well as remind you of all the wonderful achievements and accomplishments you’ve made over your career. Yes, get a reviewer to help you think of things you may not have considered, but go through the process first. It will add a layer of depth to this whole job-hunt experience that can pay dividends later (i.e. preparing you for interview questions, give you some grist for the mill for your cover letter and Statement of Teaching Philosophy, etc.).

2) There are more options out there for reviewers. There are services who will review the draft of your CV for you. But, if there are people in your life who you know would be helpful reviewers, they may do so for you as a favor. Or you can get a lot of people in your academic/professional circle to review your CV for you (if two heads are better than one, then three or four heads are better than two!). Your graduate school mentor, an online instructor who you connected with, your current chair or supervisor, etc. Your options are wide open, and your feedback will be richer and more diverse as a result.

Help for the “unique situation.” Aspiring online instructors have many questions that pertain to their specific and unique situations. Some examples include:

muhammad-rizwan-VnydpKiCDaY-unsplash“I see that schools often require teaching experience. I have taught professional development courses and have trained employees for years as part of my industry job, even online. How do I represent myself as an experienced online teacher even though I have never worked in higher education before?”

“I have a Masters degree and I am ABD for my doctorate. How do I represent those years I spent in my doctoral program without representing myself as a graduate?”

“I have a Masters in English but my doctorate is in Organizational Leadership. I have a lot of experience teaching composition courses but I’m lite on business leadership industry experience. If I want to teach more business courses (vs. English) how do I present myself in my CV?”

Everyone’s situation is different and can present interesting challenges to the traditional flow, headings, or organization of a CV. Talking through these things with a reviewer and brainstorming their solutions can be very helpful, and ultimately lead to a better representation of “you” on this important document.

So, should you have your CV reviewed? Certainly. Who should review it? Take stock of the people in your network – your academic heroes, people you know who are already teaching online, even close friends who have their finger on the pulse of what selection committees look for in a candidate. Giving them a link or print out of the job listing you are applying to will be very helpful, as will sharing this article with them. Engage in conversation about what online programs appear to be looking for and how well your CV captures that essence. You can also shop services who provide CV reviews for you.

 

tanner-van-dera-oaQ2mTeaP7o-unsplashAdjunctWorld offers an asynchronous, online, 4-week, instructor-led course titled OnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job. This course offers instruction on online teaching CVs as well as a personalized CV review. It covers all elements of your application (i.e. cover letter, Statement of Teaching Philosophy, interview strategy, etc.) and provides helpful information on the online teaching job landscape. Leave class with all of your questions about finding online teaching work answered. See our Course Description and FAQs Page for more details.

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Enrolling NowOnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job!

samantha-borges-EeS69TTPQ18-unsplashNeed personalized help with your online teaching CV/resume, cover letter, or Statement of Teaching Philosophy? Looking to put your best foot forward with your job application? All of this plus insight into the online teaching job landscape, common interview questions, peer support and more in our 4-week, instructor-led OnRamp course! Next class starts June 14th! Coupon code RAMP25 for 25% off.

This Week’s Online Teaching Job Summary

This week we posted 44 Online Adjunct jobs from 21 schools.

10 Online Teaching Positions – Landmark College (1 listing, 10 disciplines)

8 Online Teaching Positions – Columbia Southern University

4 Online Teaching Positions – University of Arizona Global Campus

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: Ameritech College Provo-Draper, Cedarville University, Concorde Career Colleges, CSU – Global, CTU-Online, Drexel University, Ferrum University, Greenville University, Hussian College, Inc., Maryville University, MCPHS University, Mercy College, Saybrook University, Simmons University, Texas A&M International University, University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy, University of Maryland Global Campus, and University of the People.

Personalized Daily Job Alerts

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 AdjunctWorld Resources.

joao-ferrao-4YzrcDNcRVg-unsplashIf a hiring school asks for anything, they will ask for a curriculum vita (CV) the “academic resume” – as part of your application package. Therefore, it’s a very important document and one that should be crafted with care. It helps to look at examples, to seek the guidance of academic mentors, and to get feedback from peers. An internet search will offer a great deal of advice as well. If you are on the path toward landing an online adjunct teaching job and are brushing the dust off or your CV (or creating it), you might want to consider this brief list of five mistakes to avoid when creating your online teaching CV.

Your education section is too far down in the document. If you read enough online teaching job listings, you’ll note that the most common requirement is a specific education level, either a master’s degree or a doctorate. This is not a preference, especially for accredited schools. It is mandatory. The bare minimum requirement for many accredited schools is a master’s degree (in anything) plus eighteen graduate semester credit hours in the field in which you are applying to teach. Some stipulate higher requirements. Given that this is the first level of screening a school needs to do, your education section must be on the front page of your CV, preferably first (or at least after your contact information and very brief personal objective statement). Don’t make hiring managers, screeners, or deans/chairs scroll to the fifth page to see if you meet the minimum education requirements for the position.

Listing your dissertation as a publication. If you are seeking an online adjunct teaching position (a part time, course-by-course job), then chances are the school won’t require you to have a long list of scholarly publications, invited talks/presentations, or edited book chapters. Some might prefer it, and some might require it, but publications are not nearly as common of a requirement for adjunct positions as they are for full time, tenure-track, research faculty jobs. But! If you have some, you should definitely list them on your CV!

susan-yin-2JIvboGLeho-unsplashHowever, keep in mind that your dissertation or your master’s thesis is not a publication. To include it in a “Publications” section could be considered padding. Yes, even if it is listed in ProQuest and widely available through interlibrary loan, it is still not a publication. Some people eventually do go on to publish their theses/dissertations in peer-reviewed journals, and if you have you can certainly include that in this section. But unless it has been accepted into a peer-reviewed journal, it is not a publication. It is, however, an important academic accomplishment so you can include the title of your dissertation or thesis in your education section where you list that degree and school.

Don’t worry if excluding your dissertation or thesis from your publication section means you won’t have a publications section in your CV. Again, it’s nice to have, but not necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to adjunct teaching – where “real world experience” tends to take precedence over research and publications.

Do not pad your CV. For the most part, the CVs I see are too modest (which we will talk about next), but I have seen some that read as unintentionally padded. Examples of padding in a CV include:

  • Listing every seminar you have ever attended. You should include certificate trainings, certification courses, and any meaty professional development course you took that you had to pass in order to achieve the course objective/goal. But, if you attended a day-long seminar or went to a continuing education course as part of your licensure or job requirement, this is not something that goes on your CV.
  • “Research Interests.” In general (and we’ll talk more about this below) the CV is a document that shows, it doesn’t tell. It is a list of things you have done that represent how you have grown into the professional that you are. So, if you are going to include a research section, it should be a section representing research projects, labs, or experiments that you have been directly a part of. Do not just list areas you are interested in.

This is not to say that research interests are not important to convey. You might mention your research interests in a cover letter and your interests are always fair game to mention during an interview. And it might pop up in your teaching philosophy (briefly). It’s important to keep in mind that the CV is not the only opportunity you have to describe yourself.

  • Professional organizations you don’t belong to. Or, maybe better said, professional organizations you don’t belong to anymore. Really avoid this because this is something that can easily be looked up. And a school who requires membership in professional organizations may do just that. If you don’t belong to any professional organizations, you do not need to include this section. But this may be a nod to go ahead and join so that you can legitimately include that membership in your CV.

tr-n-toan-sd3mQXHf_kM-unsplashBeing too modest. If you have accomplished something important in your career or in academia, it belongs on your CV. I’ve heard people say things like, “I have taught as an on-ground adjunct for years, but I only taught one online class last year because of COVID. I don’t know if that counts as “online teaching experience.” Yes! Yes, it does! Why wouldn’t it? This is something that would be highlighted on a CV.

I’ve seen people who are ABD not include their work in that graduate program on their CV because they didn’t graduate. But, you took all those classes! Remembering that some schools will hire you if you have a Master’s (in anything) and 18+ graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline, then you certainly acquired 18+ graduate credit hours if you made it all the way through the course requirements of a doctoral program (perhaps this opens up a discipline area for you to teach). You should put this information on your CV – although you should be very clear that you have not earned the degree – you have just completed the course requirements. In other words, you should mention this learning experience, but forthrightly.

Telling and not showing. The purpose of a CV is to show, through your accomplishments and achievements, the story of how you have cultivated your expertise throughout your career. Everything in the CV should be something you have done. The CV, should not include subjective descriptions of your personality or lists of your abilities or skills. Yes, a school does want someone who is a team player, they want someone who is a good time manager, and they want someone who is “results oriented,” but the CV is not the appropriate time to list those. You could potentially share some of these attributes in your cover letter; however, the part of your application that will speak to these abilities will ultimately be your letters of recommendation. It is other people who are in the best position to describe you to those who are hiring.

There is a lot more to creating an effective online teaching CV than avoiding mistakes, but hopefully this article has helped orient you to what belongs – and doesn’t belong – on a curriculum vita. For more guidance on and a professional, thorough review of your CV (as well as your cover letter and Statement of Teaching Philosophy) consider our 4-week course, OnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job. In this course, we go step-by-step through your unique online teaching job application. The course also provides the information, resources, expertise, and community needed to make the whole process of finding online teaching work a lot less lonely, confusing, frustrating, and uncertain.

Posted by & filed under Job Listings.

scott-webb-O0T1SIgHAfM-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 54 Online Adjunct jobs from 21 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

13 Online Teaching Positions – Southern New Hampshire University

9 Online Teaching Positions – Liberty University

3 Online Teaching Positions – Purdue University Global

AdjunctWorld’s latest 10 Online Adjunct positions

…as well as online teaching opportunities at: American Public University System, Bryant & Stratton College, Capella University, Central Texas College, CSU – Global, Grand Canyon University, Northcentral University, Northern State University, South University, Strayer University, Syracuse University, Tiffin University, University of Arizona Global Campus, University of Maryland Global Campus, University of New England, Western Governors University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Young Harris College.

 

Personalized Daily Job Alerts

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.

robynne-hu-HOrhCnQsxnQ-unsplashA lot of prospective online instructors write to me with frustration at how long it is taking to land that first job. There are many reasons – not having to do with the one’s ability, motivation, or qualifications – why it is so difficult to “break in”. I review these reasons in our newest 4-week, instructor-led course OnRamp: A Practical to Landing an Online Teaching Job and offer some helpful tips on how to spend that “wait time” productively. I often tell folks to hang in there (for as long as one can, is able, or is willing) because online education is not going anywhere anytime soon. It is only going to continue to grow and instructors, especially well-trained instructors who understand how to effectively deliver an online course with the needs of distance learners in mind, will be more and more in demand.

Growth of Online Education

A very interesting article out of Inside Higher Ed provides data to support the notion that online education is a rapidly growing field – even pre-pandemic. In his 2018 article titled New Data: Online Education Ascends, Doug Lederman provides a number of statistics demonstrating the growth of online learning in higher education over the past few years. I’ll bullet-point a few of those stats here:

  • In 2017, overall postsecondary enrollments fell, yet online enrollments substantially grew.
  • In 2017, about a third of college students were taking at least 1 online course.
  • Many institutions view the creation of online programs as a way to address declining enrollment.
  • The growth in online education is largely attributed to traditionally on-ground schools looking to play “catch up” to the growing demand for distance education.
    • In public institutions, the growth is due to traditional on-ground learners taking more online classes (they are not exclusively online learners, but supplementing their traditional education with online courses)
    • In private institutions, the growth is due to more students enrolling in 100% online courses. Although this data might be skewed by a a high number of nearly online-only private, non-profit institutions like Western Governors University and Southern New Hampshire University.

And Lederman’s article was written pre-pandemic, and we can safely assume that the current and future need for distance education courses has continued to grow as of 2020 and beyond.

Implications for Professional Development

Indeed, one could confidently conclude that “online education is here to stay” at least for the foreseeable future. And this leads institutions, instructors, academics, and researchers to an obvious follow-up thought: If online education is here to stay, then it needs to be darn good. It needs to be done thoughtfully, mindfully, creatively, and guided by research and the expressed needs of online learners. And our metric shouldn’t be “to be as much like an on-ground class as possible.” This metric is outdated and condescendingly assumes that online education is somehow trying to measure up to it’s big brother “on-campus education.” In the same way a parent should not force their younger artistically or musically-inclined son to play football to be more like his star-athlete big brother, an online instructor or an academic institution hoping to develop more online courses should not force their online classes to “be like” their traditional courses. We need a new metric, one that makes the most out of what the distance environment offers.

For instance, rather than focus on attendance, performance on tests or assignments, and student evaluations as the primary outcome measures, in the online environment we should also focus on increasing and enhancing engagement, as we have come to know this as a major predictor in online student success. The asynchronous discussion-based environment provides so much opportunity for dynamic and important interactions that increase one’s immersion in the learning experience. Swan (2003) identified these interactions:

  • Interactions between the student and the course content
  • Interactions between the student and the instructor
  • Interactions between the student and his/her classmates
  • Vicarious interactions (the student observing all the discussions between both the instructor and other students and between the their peers).

Therefore, an online classroom environment that encourages all four of these interactions, capitalizes on them, and facilitates them mindfully and on purpose is providing just one example of what is included in a darn good online class.

How We Help

Given what will continue to be a rise in the need for knowledgable, trained online instructors coupled with growing interest in finding online teaching work among educators, we at AdjunctWorld have taken a three-pronged approach to serving our community.

  1. We bring the jobs to you with what is the largest (and free!) database of online-only teaching jobs on the web, including emailed job alerts for our premium members.
  2. We train you in the best practices in online delivery via our 4-week, instructor-led online teaching certificate course: Fundamentals of Online Teaching (OT 101).
  3. We guide you through the often frustrating and difficult process of applying to online teaching jobs with our newest 4-week instructor-led course OnRamp: A Practical Guide to Landing an Online Teaching Job. You leave this class with a fully reviewed and professionally edited CV, cover letter, and Statement of Teaching Philosophy.

If you have any questions about premium membership, our certificate training course (OT 101), or our OnRamp course you can click on the respective links or email Brooke for more information.

Feel free to leave a comment below! We love to hear from members of our growing community!

~Brooke

References:

Lederman, D. (2018). New data: Online education ascends. Inside Higher Ed, retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/11/07/new-data-online-enrollments-grow-and-share-overall-enrollment

Swan, K. (2003). Learning effectiveness: what the research tells us. In J. Bourne & J. C. Moore (Eds) Elements of Quality Online Education, Practice and Direction. Needham, MA: Sloan Center for Online Education, 13-45.

Posted by & filed under Online Teaching Resources.

priscilla-du-preez-3gAiajAfjXI-unsplashIn 2018 we published a brief blog post titled 5 Creative Icebreaker Assignments for the Online Classroom, and to date it’s our most popular article. Which makes a lot of sense – we know from distance education research that the establishment of a vibrant, engaging, and collaborative classroom community lies at the heart of an effective online classroom. One of the first steps in creating that community is an icebreaker or “get to know you” conversation.

Our original article emphasized fun activities that can break the ice. Activities like Virtual Name Tags, where students offer one word that describes their personality, hobbies, or interests. Or the deeper “Childhood Dream” activity where students share their “What I wanted to be when I grew up” stories and how that compare/contrasts to their current career pursuits. While these are super fun and creative, lately I’ve been contemplating a simpler, but perhaps equally or more effective route – the meaningful question.

A little while ago, I had someone ask me (kind of out of the blue as I had just met them) “What is something you want to accomplish this year?” This, obviously, hit differently than the standard “How are you? What is it you do?” And it was a lot more approachable than the dreaded “Tell me about yourself.” I was surprised that I had an answer, and that the person listened and offered some supporting wisdom, and it inspired me to be curious and ask about what they wanted to accomplish.

So, rather than activities, I’ve started compiling a list of meaningful questions to ask my online students; approachable questions, helpful in that they are specific and yield a definite – yet weighty – answer. Developing this list is an exercise in empathy. It forces you to consider the questions you would liked to be asked by an online instructor with whom you hope to connect and who you hope sees you as an interested and interesting student. Here are some that I have come up with. I’ve auditioned #1 most recently and it has been received very well and invites a ton of terrific conversation.

Do you have any to add? What is a meaningful question you’d like to be asked – either by anyone wanting to get to know you, an online instructor, or online classmates? Please comment below!

What are you the biggest fan of? This question accomplishes so much. First, it taps into a person’s fandom, something they are intensely passionate about and that they could speak on for hours and hours. When you pose this question to a person, a light comes on. Online, that light is the amount they write, the story they share, and the invitation they offer to share in their fandom – to give that book, or that band, or that show a try. Second, it very quickly says a lot about a person without them having to get personal in ways they may not feel comfortable with yet. Third, chances are in a class full of students there will be someone who is also a big fan of that same thing. This creates friendships and establishes quick bonds. Fourth, this conversation can continue on throughout the class and beyond. For example, I had mentioned in my icebreaker post that I was a big fan of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives epic fantasy series. By the end of the class, a student who had just finished the first book in the series replied to my Course Wrap Up email letting me know that she really enjoyed it and that she was excited to read the next!

During the COVID pandemic, what surprised you to have missed? I have not posed this question to an online class (yet) but someone asked me this question early on in the pandemic and my answer said a lot about what I valued. If someone had asked me “What do you value?” I would have had a hard time coming up with an answer, the question being a bit vague and maybe a little overwhelming. But, when asked this way, the answer was immediate, meaningful, and simple to give. It facilitated conversation, curiosity about each other, and, like the fandom question, it stablished a quick bond (“Oh my goodness, I miss that too!”)

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? This question will usually come with a story, and sharing stories is easier to do than writing an answer to a direct question. I often find that when crafting a response to a discussion prompt, students feel a bit intimidated by submitting a careful, acceptable response. But when they can tell a story, smoke comes off their fingers and the writing comes naturally. What a great tone to set for the rest of our discussion! Because this is exactly what we hope to cultivate in our students throughout our class discussions – conversation and critical thinking rather than giving the “right answer.”

Who are you in your family (i.e. The Black Sheep, the Baby, the Oldest)? I teach Personality Psychology and in one of our discussion prompts, students are asked to consider the differences and similarities between their personality and that of their siblings and talk about what influenced those differences/similarities. Students love this question, and often write beyond the minimum length requirement. They talk about the role their birth order plays in their personality development and who they are vs. who their siblings are and how they’ve come to identify with this role, etc. I find that I, as the instructor, like sharing as well. For example, as an oldest I have a lot in common with the other “oldests” in class and we engage in terrific conversation. Given how much success I’ve had with this question as a discussion prompt and how amenable it is to being an “icebreaker”, this may be a great meaningful question to pose in an introduction thread in any online class.

What is the most favorite thing you own? This is another approachable question, the answer to which says a lot about a person without them having to offer too much at the same time. What I like most about this is how it inspires the sharing of photos! I’ve seen a lot of prized souped-up cars, dogs, cats, and pets of all kinds, book jackets, fancy coffee makers, easels and art supplies, etc. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all!

Meaningful questions of this sort tend to be approachable, but they may not be something that all students are comfortable answering. And that’s okay! A simple introduction or bio is perfectly fine. I like to phrase it like this, “Please post a reply letting us know a little about you and your goals for taking this class. If you are comfortable, consider sharing something you are a huge fan of.” That way, students who aren’t comfortable “going there” are off the hook and can simply reply with what they are comfortable sharing.

If you use one of these questions in your online classroom, I’d love to hear about it! Please comment below with your experience.