Teaching online classes

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by armywife, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. armywife

    armywife New Member

    Anyone here forged into the field of teaching classes online for any schools? I've been taking all these classes through UOP and have all these "facilitators" as they call them instead of teachers and I'm beginning to think that's not a bad way to make a part time income from home. What's the job market like for that? Is there a good way to break into that field? Any good advice? Any particular degrees or classes I can take to help out with that idea?
  2. yuccabrevifolia

    yuccabrevifolia New Member


    I've taught and co-taught a couple of courses at Cal State Bakersfield while completing my MA there. Prior to this I completed the Cal State Hayward Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning. I found this to be invaluable from the standpoint of providing the theoretical underpinnings for teaching online, as well as a decent background in Blackboard. I also made a number of good contacts through this program. The MS at Hayward looks good too, but is a bit expensive for my taste. I would recommend the certificate for getting your feet wet.

    "Facilitator" has mostly to do with the role of the instructor. The current belief in many educational circles is that students tend to deep process material better if they "discover" it themselves. Facilitators present the material and let the students make meaning out of it. Education ala carte rather than force fed. :rolleyes:

    In my case the rate of pay was dependent on the number of students enrolled and the number of units. I don't think anyone could reach the higest tax brackets doing this.

    I know a few people who do this for a living. Keep in mind this is in public universities in CA.,( your mileage may vary). Most teach in classrooms as well, though a couple make a living totally online. In all cases they have at least a masters, most have docs and are full time faculty.

    One concern that has been voiced by a number of people I've spoken to is that schools that rely too heavily on adjuncts without docs, at the 4 year college level or above, risk problems with their accredation in the long run. Will this eventually effect the ability for non-PhDs to teach online? I don't know. It probably depends on the school/state.

    Overall it is fun to do, though I had the advantage of having most of the curriculum in place for me, so I didn't have to develop much of the content.

    One warning however. Some people think that teaching online in an asynchronous environment is less time consuming than teaching in person. I have found this to not be the case. Remember that when you teach in a classroom you only have to interact with the students during office hours and in class. Most online courses that use a mainstream CMS like Blackboard, Classroom Connect, eCollege, or WebCT use a discussion-based environment . An average 25 person class may generate a couple of thousand messages over the course of a quarter. That is a lot to read, evaluate, and possibly respond to.

    Distance courses using other learning models may be easier to teach and less time consuming. I don't know.

    Once again, it might be worth your while to look at the Hayward Cert or one of the other certificates in distance education. Since you are in elementary education you might also want to look at some of the private distance/home school support providers like k12.com for ideas. DL is moving much more into K-12 these days and opportunities exist.

    Hope this helps!


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