Teaching at Rasmussen

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by graymatter, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I applied for an online adjunct position at Rasmussen months (and months and months) ago. They contacted me today to inquire as to whether I'm interested. My schedule is pretty full (this Spring I have 14 total courses for 3 universities).

    Anyone have any feedback on Rasmussen? I notice that they use Angel (which I disliked; at least with Grand Canyon). Pay seems to be $1500 per 10 week course - which certainly isn't great unless there are 8 people per class. :)
  2. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Do you have the time to do it, and is the course at Rasumssen a course that you haven't taught before?
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    If you're teaching 14 courses for a single semester, you've stretched yourself WAY too thin, IMO, and that plays right into the hands of the anti-DL people who argue that DL schools are too reliant on adjunct faculty with heavy course loads that they can't adequately handle.

    While I admit I have a full-time-plus regular job and teaching is more for personal enjoyment and "fun money", I still take a very active role in the classroom in regards to participation, grading papers, etc. I once agreed to teach *3* courses at the same time, and I nearly lost my mind; pretty much every spare minute I had was devoted to managing participation, moderating fights between learning team members, and grading research papers. My wife made me promise I would never again accept more than once course at a time, two if they overlapped.

    So, 14 courses in a single semester? Do you really think you can be an effective teacher with that kind of course load? Are these schools legitimately accredited?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  4. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Bruce, I am not a DL instructor, but I would imagine that you are definitely correct about 14 being way too many. I teach five sections at a secondary school (30+ students per class) and find that to be madness. I cannot even begin to imagine what more than that would be like. Not being able to just talk things out but rather having to formulate written responses to deal with each and every situation must be incredibly frustrating (and time-consuming).

    With that in mind, I have to side with Bruce when it comes to telling the OP to reconsider! I can understand needing the money, but that is a *lot* of work!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  5. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Just another perspective. Most people don't get rich working 40 hrs a week. The university and students should hold him to some sort of quality standard.
  6. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Well, this wasn't supposed to be about being overloaded...

    No, I don't think I'm stretched too thin. I resigned my 50-hour a week job back in November. Right now while my wife is expecting (our 6th), I'm at home full-time. I'm still likely working 50 hours per week - its just that I'm just in the next room. Our plan is that I do this for the next year as I have a pending dissertation defense this spring and then a relocation.

    I should have noted that those aren't all unique courses. The 14 classes are only 5 unique courses. Some of them are only 5 week courses so I can do 4-5 of those all Spring without them overlapping. Some of them are limited to 12 students per class. That also includes 6 classes of the same UOP course. Its not as though I'm doing 14 classes of 30 students at a time; sorry if that's the impression given.

    I've been recognized by 3 of the universities as having exceptionally high positive feedback from students.

    The Rasmussen course would NOT be one that I've taught before. I've basically done undergraduate Abnormal Psychology, Theories courses, and an Intro to Counseling (grad level). This course is a Cultural Diversity course - which would be a nice vita addition.

    Yes, all are legitimately (regionally) accredited. All of them are spoken of highly on this board (if you count UOP, which I do speak highly of - high tuition notwithstanding).

    So... does anyone have any real feedback as to adjuncting with Rasmussen.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  7. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Not sure what you mean by this. Both university and students do hold adjuncts to a standard of quality. As noted a moment ago, I've been recognized as an excellent adjunct by 3 of the schools.

    I currently have 4 classes going (2 of the same UOP courses. Do you really think that adjuncts can't adequately manage 4 courses at a time (total of 60 students) if they don't have "outside" employment?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  8. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I have no feedback on Rasmussen, but if your goal is a full-time teaching position, and you believe you can do a good job, then you take the position for the reasons you stated. Good luck!

  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    With all the other information you shared I say go for it. It is a great idea if you have another school to fall back on if work drys up from one of the ones you have.
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Pay is consistent with other institutions. Few months ago, one of the places that I work online dismissed one instructor that was caught outsourcing his teaching.

    $1500 is not a lot in the US but it seems that some people take as many courses as they can and then outsource them to other places like India.

    Think about it, you get 10 contracts at 1500 and outsource them at 500 to India and you pocket the rest.

    This is scary and things seem to be going out of control. Also, this kind of practices will just drive salaries even lower.

    The same institution now requires montly meetings on the phone with a manager just to make sure that you are actually doing the work and not someone else.
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    There are some pros and cons when you take too many schoools. As you mentioned, it is good to add to your portfolio a school that can help you to minimize risk of unemployment but also some schools will take you off of the list if you turn down their request to teach too many times.

    The problem is that if you take their offer, you will need to teach right away with them otherwise you are taking the chance that they will never call you again.

    I rather teach with few schools that give you yearly contracts with consitent courses rather than too many that can drop you any time if you turn them down. The problem is that not too many schools work this way.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    4 courses is pretty decent. Danielle Babb is the author of the book "Make money teaching online" and she recommends teaching from 7 to 10 per term in order to reach the 100K mark.
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    One school at teach at has an unwritten rule of - decline once and you are okay, decline classes twice in a row and you go to the bottom of the list and may never get a class again,
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is the problem with online adjunct teaching. Scheduling vacations or short term leaves is not an option, they can drop you any time and never call you back again. I used to bring laptops to Vacations for this reason.
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I went on a cruise to Mexico and Grand Cayman and purchased internet minutes on board to keep up. It burnt a few hours a night (slow connection) and about $200 bucks!
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I'm finding that out, the hard way.

    That's why I have a laptop and broadband wireless card, they've been lifesavers during vacations, although one day I had to use a public library in New Hampshire because my wireless card (or the system) decided to take a 24-hour vacation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2012
  17. cdhale

    cdhale Member

    So far, while doing online adjuncting (you know, spell check says that is not a word, but it should be), I have moved from Virginia to Texas, handling classes from the hotel on my laptop; gone to conferences for my job, using hotel internet on my laptop; two vacations, one to Disney Land and one across mid-America, using hotel internet and laptop; various short visits to family and friends, using their internet and my laptop.

    I don't think that vacations or trips are out of the question at all.
  18. Moveitfred

    Moveitfred New Member

    Re Vacations

    Just a word of caution that might apply to some. Careful with burnout when always tethered to the laptop on vacations.

    I went through a time doing this--never saying "no" while always, always teaching online through what should have been a vacation.

    Not good for me!

    Yes, I know the sad reality of potentially losing one's place in line with regard to courses, but most of us, methinks, need a vacation--a real unencumbered vacation away from grading and trying to squeeze out some worth from tepid student discussions.

    What has worked for me sometimes at what I consider institutions of "higher value" where I teach is a brief, honest note to my chair/manager well ahead of time noting an upcoming vacation and willingness to teach the following term. Listen, I know this won't work everywhere all the time (some places are just too entrenched in the go, go, GO! mentality), but at least you can feel good about a professional approach to a well-deserved break on your end of things.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, if you make a living doing this, you cannot have the luxury of stress free vacations. You cannot afford to say no many times as you will lose the schools that might never come back later.

    I have said it few times already but I don't think a full time online instructor career is a good idea. It can be not so intrusive if you teach for one or two schools at the time but not something you can do to make a living.

    The issue of salary is another concern that we have discussed, schools seem to have frozen salaries since the last 10 years. As more people with doctorates come out, there is less incentive to pay more for online courses.
  20. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    Thanks for all the feedback (even though I haven't really gotten a lot of feedback on Rasmussen). For me personally, this full-time online gig is a short term plan. In fact, I'm interviewing for a (ground) faculty position near my wife's family in just a few weeks.

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