In response to a great number of queries submitted to Adjunct Professor Online, Iâ€™m outlining how I became an online instructor in hopes it may help others interested in pursuing this line of work.Â Yes, itâ€™s a great job--but, it's not for everyone.
Online teaching can help you develop a flexible career that allows you to work from home or anywhere thereâ€™s a reliable Internet connection.Â In some situations, you can set your own hours. It can be a great job, but it isnâ€™t an easy job.Â It takes a lot of discipline and perseverance.Â In many ways, teaching online is more difficult than other forms of teaching.
Like most online professors, I already had a long history of teaching in traditional classrooms. Â Classroom teaching isnâ€™t a â€œmust-haveâ€ prerequisite for teaching online, but it helps demonstrate core teaching skills.Â It also helps if youâ€™re already in the "system".Â Online teaching gigs have traditionally gone to instructors who have demonstrated they can be productive without supervision and possess the technical chops to get things done online.Â This isnâ€™t to say youâ€™re out of luck if you donâ€™t currently work at a university.Â There are a growing number of online teaching opportunities.Â With the rise of colleges and schools that operate exclusively online, these opportunities are becoming more numerous.
There are a great number of links on this site to institutions offering online teaching jobs.Â Look around and review their offerings.Â Online colleges are accustomed to evaluating non-academic job candidates, and are a good place to establish experience.
As you have likely noticed, traditional colleges are getting into the online education space. Most colleges now offer select courses online, and thereâ€™s a growing trend to offer entire degree programs to generate the enrollment of distance learners.Â If youâ€™re already an adjunct, making the transition to online teaching is simply a matter of requesting an online teaching position and following-though with some training.Â Depending on the sophistication of your institution, training may involve a mentorship, an online course, or simply a one-on-one meeting with the online coordinator.
If youâ€™re not already teaching, strategize a compelling argument why you would make a great online instructor.Â Donâ€™t aim for good.Â You need to aim for great.Â
And remember itâ€™s all about the students.Â What experiences and skills do you possess that will benefit the institutionâ€™s students?Â Be as specific as you can.
Online colleges are flourishingâ€”perhaps too quickly. Although many of todayâ€™s online schools have rigorous course loads, highly qualified teachers, and regional accreditationâ€”just like traditional schools, there have been recent accusations that many â€œfor profitâ€ schools donâ€™t provide equivalent value.Â I believe you have to look at this case by case.Â Many online schools are legitimate, and have the needs of their students first.Â However, there are educational entrepreneurs out there that see a cash cow.Â An acid test Iâ€™ve used to differentiate between the two is to talk to their academic advisement centers.Â Do they act as counselors or sales people?Â Thatâ€™s often the quickest way to determine where an institutionâ€™s heart resides.
Good luck on your job search.Â Again, there are dozens of institutions offering online instructor jobs on this website.Â Explore their offerings.Â