Teach online as adjunct and make 100K?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by RFValve, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    It also depends very much on what you teach and what exactly your higher specialty is.

    Some areas just aren't very high volume (upper level stats maybe) while others are very high. On the other hand, some very high volume areas have plenty of applicants willing to teach (freshman English anyone) while others don't seem to have many takers.
  2. euphoric

    euphoric New Member

    as I posted before I am going for my masters in psych, and my goal is to go for counseling or to teach..

    would an online school hire someone who is not living in the US?

  3. BinkWile

    BinkWile New Member

    I am reaching the end of my doctoral process and I have put out some feelers as to what I can now do with this degree. I have recieved some interesting repsonses, and I would agree that it may be possible to make 100k a year. But considering that I would have no benefits, which I now enjoy, and no 401K, I would rather do this part time!
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    There are online schools that are not in the US so you might want to try some local ones first. Yes, there are limitations as many US schools require US residency or at least a US social insurance number to work. If you are Canadian you might want to try US schools with Canadian presence and online Canadian schools.

    Some schools might be open to foreign candidates but this depends on the school so you have to ask. However, your options will be more limited.

    The other option is to get a PhD and try to get a green card under the "tenure track" faculty option. I know, it is not easy but a tenure track in the US is normally a ticket to a green card as well.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Here is my math-
    I teach for one school and get four classes per semester (they are all the same class so I know what questions will come up commonly). They offer four semesters per year and I get paid $1,400 per class.
    (1400x4)x4 = $22,400

    I teach for another school and get one class per mini-semester. Two mini’s per actual semester, four semesters per year. I get paid $1,500 per class.

    (1500x2)x4 = $12,000

    $22,400 + $12,000 = $34,400 per year. I work about 10 hours per week teaching. The reason I can do it so quickly is because I have all my common announcements, questions, and comments written on a word document and I just copy and paste them. I don’t mean it as I do not give personal attention but in the unit where the benefits of the internet are discussed, someone ALWAYS mentions online banking which leads me to ask, “How do you know websites are secure?”

    I make roughly 35K per year teaching 10 hours a week. I know I could make $100K working 40 hours if I was given the course load.
  6. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    Ditto with me, Randell1234.

    Every course's announcements, assignments, discussion prompts (basically, everything) I teach are saved as Word documents on my desktop. At this point, I teach the same courses over and over again, so I just copy and paste--a tremendous time-saver. Also, the longer you teach online, the easier it becomes, I have noticed. Just being organized is the most important element of teaching online successfully. I juggle the courses, and I never, ever spend more than 10-12 hours per week; I have seven classes going right now.

  7. greentrain

    greentrain New Member

    So, are e-commerce programs dying out now? I wonder why.


  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    E-commerce is too dynamic to be considered a science. Most of the E-commerce programs concentrate heavily in strategy and MBA type of courses while the market is more technical oriented. In conclusion, employers rather hire a technical person to manage an E-commerce site than an MBA with E-commerce concentration. This is my conclusion after seeing a growth in Web development courses and a drop in Ecommerce courses, people feel that web development skills pay in the market while E-commerce don't
  9. greentrain

    greentrain New Member

    Good point. e-commerce doesn't pay while the technical skills to do with web development do pay. Also, web developers would not be limited to e-commerce companies for work prospects. e-Commerce wouldbe's might just study web development and architecture and then tag on a few marketing courses geared toward e-commerce.

    I always looked at e-commerce web development as paying less than other development jobs. Not sure if that is true but the people I know who work for e-commerce companies do get less and have worse work hours.

  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Actually, the degree of truth in this statement would depend upon whether you are talking about the MBA in E-Commerce or the MS in E-Commerce.
  11. euphoric

    euphoric New Member

    I am not living in the US, I suppose not living in the US would limit my job outlook in the online teaching field.

    It is going to take me plenty of years for me to finish my education, so hopefully by then I will not have a problem finding an online position in Europe or in the US.
  12. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Just out of curiosity: Did your brick and mortar university at least have the good sense to offer their e-commerce major online?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2007
  13. teachtech

    teachtech New Member

    It depends on what you teach, too. I teach Eng Comp, Business Communications, Sociology, and CJ. There is a lot of interactive discussion work in all my classes and there is a fair amount of writing assignments as well, especially for Eng! It takes far longer to grade English assignments than anything else.

    If I can develop my own classes (some places you can and some places you cannot) then I do most assignments via discussion, objective (automatically graded) assessments, and several short essays per semester rather than one long research paper (those take forever to grade). I tend to turn down Eng Comp courses in favor of developmental Eng. I don't like grading long papers and I'm good at teaching remedial writing so it works out well.

    There are a lot ways to streamline online teaching. I teach online faculty training and one of the major concerns at every college is that instructors will not interact enough with students. This is students' major gripe on course evals. I am in a graduate program (my fourth because I keep adding 18 grad hours in different subject areas to increase my teaching opportunities). I am in the last two of six courses in the program. I've had six different professors. NONE have written the first comment on my written work. NONE have written a single original comment in the discussions. They copy/paste in the discussions, never interact with individuals or make any original comments, and the grade includes just that, a grade.

    For one of my classes, I was convinced the prof never read anything I wrote (there were four 5 page essays, an 8 page midterm, and an 8 page final). I had all A's. So for the final, I cranked it out in about 2 hours and turned it in. Believe me it was NOT A level work. It was C at best. I got an A. Just proves my point.

    It's VERY easy to teach a lot of classes, a lot of students, make a lot of money, and do it in a few hours a week when it's done like that. Unfortunately, that's the way it's happening more and more often. I have a book coming out later this year about how to manage the day to day and week to week tasks of teaching in the online classroom. It does include shortcuts but it focuses on being interactive and effective, not just going through the motions to get the paycheck in the shortest amount of time per week as possible.

    I found this thread very interesting because about four years ago I visited this site briefly for a few months and was flamed horribly for saying I could teach 100+ students in less than 40 hours a week. Seems the tide has turned now that more people are teaching online.
  14. PsychPhD

    PsychPhD New Member

    And yet ...

    As an online instructor, who is pretty tech savvy, has implemented most every suggested time management tip, and tries to maintain a legitimate "presence," I am puzzled. You (rightfully, IMHO) criticize those "going through the motions," yet assert it is possible to teach 100+ students in less than 40 hours.

    I currently have about 60 students across three classes and feel pretty busy.

    Frankly, I have a difficult time envisioning how one can teach more students without cutting corners.
  15. teachtech

    teachtech New Member

    Here's my scenario:

    Institution1: two same courses, writing intensive (several major projects/papers), 15 students in each (total 30)

    Institution 2: two same courses, not too heavy in written assignements -- a few short essays, 20 students in each (total 40)

    Institution 3: two same courses, only a research paper that's pretty short (5 pages), 30 students (WAY too many in my opinion but no choice there) in each (total 60)

    I teach three different courses, two sections of each, every term. I don't have a "day job" so my full time work is online teaching.

    As someone mentioned, it's much easier to teach multiple sections of the same course. I also create my courses (for two institutions) so that there is no overlap of heavy grading in the same week. The other institution is a canned course so I can't change anything BUT fortunately it's not a writing-intensive course.

    I speed read, speed type, and spend an average of 30 minutes per day (5 days a week) in each course discussion area. It's easier to keep up every day with that many discussions than trying to catch up every other day. Checking every day goes much faster than facilitating less frequently. That would be about three hours a week in discussions if I'm teaching six courses.

    I create question and answer forums in the courses so I don't get a lot of emails. I answer questions when I check discussions daily (usually twice a day).

    I can grade about 5-6 research papers in an hour - and that includes some copy/pasted comments (about writing and APA), some minor editing with comments and resources for review of grammar, etc., and lots of personalized content comments (no cut and paste for content comments -- they are all personalized for each student). For short essays or written work that is 1-2 pages, 5 minutes tops per paper. Speed reading and speed typing are what makes the difference.

    Research papers are only once per term so those extra hours only happen one week each term. And I never have more than two courses doing research papers at the same time. I plan it that way so that I never have to spend more than an extra few hours grading writing assignments in any one given week during a term.

    Since I'm in the discussions commenting and asking questions all week, there's no formal grading to do at the end of the week. Sometimes if someone's not up to par in the discussions, I send an email to let them know to pick up the pace. If they don't, they know why the grade is low so I don't have to write about it with the grade. I just put in grades and a one-line comment for everyone at the end of the week that takes about 10 minutes per class (because I'm already very familiar with what and when everyone wrote in the discussions).

    I teach six classes and over a hundred students every term, four times a year. I've been doing this for six years. Obviously when I'm teaching a new subject, it takes more hours the first time. UNLESS I design the course myself and then I know it inside and out before I ever start teaching so it's the same as the rest that I've been doing for years. If I'm teaching a new canned course, then it takes a few more hours each week the first term.

    My students get personalized and frequent attention in discussions, question and answer forums, emails, and on papers. I've never had complaints that I've not been both visible and approachable.

    I enjoy interacting with students and I've been an educator for 30 years (even though only 6 full time online), and teaching is what I do and what I've always done. I also have developed and taught online faculty training in several institutions. I look at my graduate profs who do nothing and I think to myself, yeah I could make 200K a year teaching a boatload of courses like that and still have time left over each week.

    But I can't and won't do that. I'm a tough professor and I expect a lot from my students but I'm there for them to provide whatever support they need. Not only is it my job. It's just what I enjoy doing.
  16. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    My students get personalized and frequent attention in discussions, question and answer forums, emails, and on papers. I've never had complaints that I've not been both visible and approachable.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have a day job and still teach quite a few courses a year and, in fact, I have to turn down offers. Everything in online teaching comes down to organization. I give personal attention, and I am among the highest-rated instructors (both by students and administration) at each of the institutions for which I teach.

  17. teachtech

    teachtech New Member

    It's all about making the connection with the students. In some respects, how we each do that is as different as our personalities. If they feel that you know them and care about their success, you've won half the battle right there. The other half is organization and getting things done on time :)
  18. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member

    I picked up their book last week. Pretty good but mostly stuff I have learned here. And, of course...they mention degreeinfo.com...nice. Otherwise, a nice overviw for someone who has limited exposure to the medium. (I did learn that WebCT and Blackboard are merging...weird.)

    As for being an online adjunct...I finished my MFA (which is probably the last choice for even CC's for teaching English, even with my 18 credits in Lit.) in May...I've applied rather liberally with no result so far. I am half way through my psych masters now and I have the requisite 18 credits to teach if it comes to that. It will tak six months to finish my 33 credit masters, another year if I choose the "state required" 48 credits for licensure (which I will probably do).
    Then...I will teach online if I can ever get hired...but not English...psych only...I can't imagine the workload in teaching freshman comp in three classes per...what a nightmare of reading and editing/grading!
  19. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I have about 85 students and put in about 15 hours a week. I just got an extra class so it is extra time.
  20. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Interesting... May I ask what tasks are required of the instructor each week per student at this school? That's about 11 minutes per student per week. At one of the online schools at which I teach, I plan on 60 minutes per student per week for most subjects and more than that for undergraduate statistics.

    Best wishes,


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