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What Is an Online Adjunct?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2014
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Internet and online education continues to expand, creating a job market that simply didn’t exist in the past. Demand for educated people to teach high school and college isn’t always met by hiring full time faculty who work for a specific institution. In contrast, many teachers hired teach one or more classes each semester or quarter, and each teacher could be called an online adjunct. Adjunct positions allow for teachers to teach, but they do not get the benefits or job security associated with permanent part-time or full-time work.

Clearly the online adjunct differs from other adjunct positions because courses are taught online. There are some schools that combine bricks and mortar and online education and some teachers might teach online and offline classes. More attractive may be the jobs for classes conducted solely online. Given class structure, these may give teachers a high degree of flexibility in scheduling hours. Lots of very educated people starting out in other careers supplement their income by working as an online adjunct simultaneously.

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It’s evident that the online adjunct might require a few extra things to conduct work. These include a modern enough computer that might have to run software used by the school, in order to present or conduct classes. Internet connection would be vital; this would be the way teachers set up class pages, create instruction material, and keep in touch with students. Variation in jobs mean that teachers may have a free hand in designing curriculum and testing, while others will have to stick to pre-designed and pre-selected curriculum, materials and methods of evaluation. Some schools prefer to design all this so that students have an easier time understanding specific expectations in each course.

An additional variation is pay structure. Each school determines this differently. Some schools pay by the head or student, while others pay a flat fee per class. Schools may have other payment structures including a flat fee plus a per student fee.

Being able to retain work as an online adjunct is another issue. Schools may have competency levels they expect teachers to fill, and some determine whether adjuncts remain based on student satisfaction and survey. Alternately, some universities don’t make their assessment criteria of adjuncts very clear, and rehire on a case-by-case basis.

Of importance to anyone considering this career is how to find employment. There are now numerous Internet job sites devoted to the search for online adjunct jobs. Some combine online/offline positions, which may be attractive for a few teachers. Each position may have a different pay structure and qualifications listings. With job lists in hand, many teachers are able to find this kind of work quickly.

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bpatrick
Post 1

Can you tell me the names of any colleges or community colleges that are hiring online history teachers with no online experience? I could use this experience.

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