Engaging the Online Reality of College and University Teaching | track and field


The core concept of post-secondary public education, which comprises ninety eight percent of all college and university education, is rapidly changing as technology makes possible online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs and the funding of faculty salaries is more determined by corporate profit than public need. Of course, given the acceleration of the changes brought about by this economic and technological combination are far too advanced to ever pull back, the academic with an earned graduate degree wishing to make a sustainable career in education needs to accommodate the reality of scholarly life in order to successfully confront the reality of teaching at the college and university level.The academic reality incorporates the idea of not depending on the availability of a tenure-track position at a state post-secondary academic institution. That is not to say that there are no tenured positions that can be applied for at every institution since the credentialing bodies still insist on have a certain number of tenure-track and tenured positions within the faculty body. However, the sheer number of full time teaching is decreasing as administrators acknowledge the efficiency of hiring increasing numbers of academics to fill online faculty positions created by the growth of college and university student enrollment in online college classes. The teacher that learns how to take advantage of this hiring trend in education can quickly propel an academic career forward by learning how to interact and teach college and university students from a personal computer.

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Teaching as an adjunct online for a variety of online college degree programs can be professionally and personally rewarding if careful attention is given to the dynamics of online education as an emerging career field. For example, an online college professor can teach the students in the online classes from any physical location in the industrialized world. Of course, the growth of wireless networks worldwide mean that every day the opportunity to literally pick and choose the location from which to teach online for several online bachelor degree programs grows on an exponential basis. Since the traditional educational landscape includes the intellectual ranges the various academic areas of study, and the physical ranges, the cost of living in order to be physically present in the classroom as a college professor, it is very important for to any teacher to be able to move to a new geographical location quickly should the local economy surrounding the physical college or university campus suddenly tank and the cost of housing and transportation suddenly become unaffordable for long periods of time. In the same sense, academics teaching college and university students in semi-rural areas may find that the isolation is too much and the attraction of metropolis is too great to be ignored since the primary research and art centers are usually located in highly populated areas. In both of these cases the mobility afforded by online adjunct faculty positions is extremely useful when pursuing an acceptable trajectory in the academic life.The current thinking on the part of many teachers with earned graduate degrees is to negotiate with the usual state academic institutions, but in the end this strategy will succumb to the geographic restrictions inherent in the reality that there are usually too few physical campuses within driving distance. Online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs are so numerous now that it is virtually impossible for an online adjunct instructor to tech for all of them, plus the fact that the online college courses in the online degree programs are located on the Internet instead of on a physical campus means that the physical restrictions do not apply to teaching online.

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In fact, the administrators of online college degree programs really don’t care where the online instructors are when they teach their online college classes. What is important to department heads and deans is that the online adjuncts log onto the Internet frequently and grade tests, assign essays and monitor the discussion forums. This freedom is a genuine benefit for academics willing to learn how to use a personal computer to apply to many post-secondary academic institutions that offer their students a chance to earn an online degree from their personal computers. Ultimately, the growth of distance education will lead to the majority of post-secondary instruction occurring in the digital space known as the internet, and teachers with graduate degrees should begin now to develop a rotation application strategy that will generate multiple online college classes to teach throughout the year.