Slave wages for online adjuncts?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by me again, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I agree with you.

    When I started at CC, all they required was a Bachelors degree -- and I was invited by a friend who was in the loop to teach there. Thus, I got the job not based upon my qualifications (I had a Masters degree at that time), but based upon who I knew. :eek:

    Later, I started applying for online adjunct teaching jobs (with just a Masters degree). Surprisingly, I got no nibbles (at least it was surprising to me)!!! I had submitted so many online applications that I forgot to whom I applied.

    Eventually, I got a phone call for an online adjunct job -- and I treated the interviewer like she was the hen that lays golden eggs. I went through multiple interviews, each lasting anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes. It was intense. She wanted me, so I eventually got the job, but little did I know what I was getting into!!! :eek:

    The online school that I work for is very hard and it's time-intensive. The older adjuncts said that when they began, classes were about 25 students, but now we are up to 40+ students (not in all classes). You do the math: If you get 40 students and if each turns in a four page paper and if you have three days to grade them, then it can become time-intensive, especially if you work a full-time job already!!!

    IMO the book "Make 100k teaching online" has been a great disservice to online teaching because it gave college administrators the idea that online adjuncts had too much time on their hands. Remember: college administrators read that stuff too. As a result, the student-to-teacher ratio has changed for the worse, all in the name of maximizing profit.

    It's quite possible for an online adjunct to work for slave wages, by the time it's a all calculated!
  2. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Most full time BM faculty I have interacted with professionally hate it when they have to substitute an online class for an on-ground class. I teach f2f and online, and there is no comparing the two in terms of time committment and just general challenges. I can't say I have seen any difference in learning outcomes between one and the other, but faculty time is certainly different.
  3. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Unless you script everything and use canned responses, online runs about 3X the hours required for ground classes.

  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It depends on the school, Devry pays about 2-3K per course and it takes about 7-10 hours a week to meet their requirements. Let's take an average of 2.5K per class at an average of 8.5 x 8 hours of commitment. This comes about 36 dlls/hour. This is not bad considering that a day job pays about the same.

    Although Devy seems like a good option, most full time online instructors are not so lucky to fill their loads with courses from Devry and they have to look for schools like UoP. The lowest pay that I got teaching online was about 1K but time commitments were about 4 x8 hours so this would make about $31 dlls an hour.

    So if you decided to become a full time instructor, you are looking at an average of 33 dlls/hour. If you translate this on a yearly basis giving yourself a month vacation and have a working week of 45 hours. You are looking at a salary of 65K. The salary is not so bad but still not comparable to some of the full time positions that pay 80-100K at regular universities or colleges. Also, it seems below average if you consider that you need a PhD plus you are working with no job security and no benefits.
  5. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    That alone changes the 65k to probably something more like 50k. Still may suit a person's needs.

    Also, consider the on-ground alternative. One of my classes is a 3.5 hour class, every Saturday morning. I can complete everything I need to do for that class in that once per week time slot. I can review papers with the students, use some portion for lecture, facilitate a group activity/assignment, have class discussion - all in that 3-4 hour time frame. They are different worlds within which to manager and negotiate.

    Online takes more effort and organization skills. Not suggesting I mind it, but that is how my experience sees it.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Onground courses are without doubt better alternatives, the poblem is the logistics. You can probably adjunct for at the most three to four schools that are close to your area, adjunct positions in the large cities are also not so easy to get either. Online courses take more time and pay less but administrators know that you can adjunct for many schools so they tend to low salaries. Also, there are more people available to teach online so salaries are pushed down.

    I read Dr. Babb's book and it seems that you would need to teach from 80 to 100 courses a year to make the 100K. This amount of courses is just insane, it might be possible but you are not really teaching but just sending canned messages for all your courses.

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