Kaplan = Academic Sweat Shop!

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by BlackBird, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member

    I went through their 3 week online faculty training.

    Analysis: It was brutal, brutal, brutal.

    Why? 1. Their websites are disjointed (not seamless), 2. They requires endless rule following based on course room, employee handbook, expectations, etc. 3. Their online platform requires you to do one hour EVERY week "synchronous" where you have to have an originally made powerpoint and discussion questions online. (it looks like a vertical ticker tape as folks put up comments or questions. Then Powerpoint on side as you talk. Talk is one way from you to students. They write back in realtime. You have to do this every week. 4. There are endless tests and videos you are to see. One test was so damn complex that it took me 3 hours and over 70 tries to pass at 80% or more (minimal requirement to pass to next section).

    The professor is required to answer every student every week with a 100 minimum words per response. I teach at another online institution, they only require a first week response to everyone, then from then on in the discussions you answer 25% of class. This policy of Kaplan is brutal IMHO.

    The pay stinks and is insulting. They pay $1K for 10 weeks. That is $200/week. Calculate that at 15 hours minimum per week and you get about $13.00 an hour. If you have to take 20 hours a week (very probable) it is $10.00/hour. That is simply demeaning.

    They require you to take 30 hours of unpaid training watching videos and trainings they put out. My brick and mortar school that I worked for would pay me when they required me. Kaplan won't even accept your CEU's from your profession.

    The hiring process is infernal. It is also disjointed. I often sent emails and only a few times got answers. Their list of what you are supposed to do is highly complex and also disjointed. I edited it to improve it. Never got a thank you.

    My analysis is that the school preys upon the Ph.D. glut and desperate faculty needing jobs. Kaplan is a revolving door with professors.

    Oh, yes, they will raise your pay if you stay on past four classes and meet their standards. Course terms 1-3 with over 10 students might pay 2000 dollars. Terms 4 and forward with over 10 students as high as 2,600 dollars. I personally do not think it is worth it. With 10 students it is brutal all you have to do. With more you can imagine... it becomes a very high amount of hours to get that money. Not worth it to me.

    Can someone be successful at doing the Kaplan teaching gig? Yes... But you have to be an OCD type of person. I noticed these types can do this kind of work, following endless minutiae and rules. This takes the fun out of teaching. It is a spirit-killer in my humble opinion. Hope this helped some.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2016
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Hey BB,

    Long time no hear. Nice to hear from you again!

    Abner :smile:
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Wow. Well, sounds like a great time to say "no".
  4. scaredrain

    scaredrain Member

    The pay must have changed. Back when I was a full time employee at Kaplan (2007 to 2012), I was also an adjunct and made 2500 usd per undergraduate course and this was without a doctorate. I agreed that back then the work load was just too much. I remember having over 30 students and had to respond to each one on the discussion board the first week, not to mention you have to give original feedback for each student, plus post at least 4 out of the 7 days each week on the discussion board.

    I also remember the seminars quite well, which you had to hold weekly as you mentioned and you also had to track students, if they signed in or had participated. Factor in having to deal with students who were not prepared for online learning or college level work, it was very time consuming. Needless to say, I only taught courses if I was absolutely needed and they needed a fill in. After two semesters of what I described above, I realized it was not worth it.

    I do remember speaking to a few of the full time faculty members at Kaplan, who always sounded exhausted. Most of these faculty members stated that they remained because they were able to work remotely and from home. Back then the full time faculty members were teaching anywhere from 5 to 7 classes per semester. I had no idea how they did it.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I've pushed back on the notion of "say no" because I feel it is insufficient. But it is necessary. I refuse to teach online for that reason, in part. None of the fun, all of the work, and hardly any of the money. Ick.
  6. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    "I noticed these types can do this kind of work, following endless minutiae and rules. This takes the fun out of teaching. It is a spirit-killer in my humble opinion."

    I can fully understand that.
  7. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    Kaplan is actually one of the better employers. The class sizes are now pretty small, usually under 10, and the ongoing training minimal For the CEUs they accept just about anything reasonable. The chance to lecture once a week is actually a benefit and keeps you sharp. The problem I have had with online schools are the ones that offer minimal training on the learning platform and then expect you to format the classroom. The KU pay is OK if you manage your time accordingly.
  8. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    It could have been on DI. A few years ago there was a discussion about adjuncting for free just to get the experience. If people are still thinking that way then being an adjunct will always be only one step above indenture labor.
  9. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    Wow...I did not know being a college professor pays so low!
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Being an adjunct does. Being full time is usually a lot better, although competition for such positions is fierce.
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Yes, that discussion was on degreeinfo a few years ago. And I agree with you about adjuncting being one step above indentured servitude.
  12. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    Fact is almost all online teaching is adjunct based. If you can master the learning platform and allocate time, it is worth it for some. I sure wouldn't want to commute to a work place, prepare course materials, and lecture 3 times a weeks for comparable pay as a traditional adjunct. Course pay averages about $2500 each although some schools pay as high as $5000 and as low as $1500 depending on specialty and enrollment.
  13. scaredrain

    scaredrain Member

    I think it depends where you are an adjunct and what type of courses one is teaching. A colleague of mine is an adjunct at a large state supported university here in North Carolina. He teaches only 2 graduate level economics classes per year and his contract is 15,000 for just the 2 classes. Having spent the majority of my career in the online for profit sector, I can say that the adjunct pay for most of those types of places is not as much, but the pay is what the market dictates. As long as these colleges and universities can find someone who is willing to work for the pay they are offering, the pay will not go up.

Share This Page