Online Adjunct - Valdosta State University

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					From Student eMails
   I ordered my textbook yesterday, but it’s not here yet. (End of Week 1)
   The bookstore sent the wrong book.
   The bookstore told me I didn’t need a book because the class is online.
   My advisor didn’t tell me the class was online, so for three weeks I’ve been wondering what to do.
   Nobody told me I needed a computer
   Nobody told me I needed software
   My computer is in the shop—don’t know when I’ll get it back. Hope that’s not a problem.
   My Internet is down and Comcast can’t get here until next week. I’ll let you know when I can start my
   My car broke down.
   Didn’t realize we had due dates
   My other online classes don’t have deadlines.
   My other online instructors don’t require discussions
   Thought I could do all of my work on Saturday
   I failed this class twice and took it online because I thought it would be easier.
   Had to go out of town to a part of the country with no Internet.
   I work 60 hours a week and carry a full load, so please forgive me for not turning in my work.
   My grandmother’s niece on my mother’s brother’s side was having a baby and I had to take my sister’s
    uncle’s brother’s wife to the hospital.
   Never heard of plagiarism before—what is it?
   We didn’t cheat, we just worked together.
   Yes, he typed them and gave me a copy. I didn’t know that was cheating.
   I didn’t cheat on that paper—I paid good money for it.
   I accidentally hit submit before all assignments were attached, so I couldn’t send the rest—hope that’s ok.
   I haven’t turned in any homework for the first three weeks because I don’t know what to do.
   I can’t get on the discussion board because my Internet is down so I’m emailing my post to you.
   I thought we’d just read the book and take tests.
   I don’t have time to complete all of the assignments, so can I do some extra credit work? I really need an
    A in this class.
   I don’t like to work in groups so I didn’t do that assignment.
   I just found this class. What do I need to do? I really need an A in this class. (Week 4 of an 8-week class)
Diary of an Online Adjunct
Dr. Vesta R. Whisler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Adult & Career Education
Valdosta State University -- Valdosta, GA
Online Faculty
Ivy Tech Community College -- Muncie, IN

      Who are online adjuncts?
      What is it like to be one? (Dear Diary)
      When is it time to hire online adjuncts?
      Where does one find them?
      Why is training important?
      How can an institution help online adjuncts?
      How can an online adjunct help him/herself?

   Who are Online Adjuncts?
   •   The Philosopher
           o   Not employed in degree field
           o   Teaches to stay in touch with the area and earn extra money
   •   The Moonlighter
           o   Teaches full-time in the area
           o   Uses adjunct teaching to expand experience and earn extra money
   •   The Full-Time Part-Timer
           o   Works as a freelancer for several institutions
           o   Building a vitae and making a living
   •   The Seeker
           o   Looking for full-time work
           o   Using adjunct teaching as a stepping stone
   •   The Graduate
           o   Grad student or recent graduate
           o   Using adjunct teaching as a stepping stone
   •   The Retiree
           o   Wants part-time work
               Wants to stay busy and earn extra money(1)
Ivy Tech Adjunct Faculty
   Statewide survey of 1,505 adjunct faculty (f2f and online) teaching for-credit courses
    Spring 2007

        ◦   65.3% (two-thirds) have 10 or more terms of total teaching experience

        ◦   Nearly 45% hold full-time job outside the Ivy Tech adjunct faculty position
            Overall, 91.0% were very or somewhat satisfied with their employment at Ivy Tech(2)

Adjunct Use of Online Resources
    Usage of Ivy Tech eMail and Campus Connect (2)

Dear Diary
   The Moonlighter (that’s me!)
        o   Teaches full-time in the area
        o   Uses adjunct teaching to expand experience and earn extra money
   My experience as an adjunct
        o   Ball State University (f2f only)
        o   Phoenix University (online only)
        o   Ivy Tech Community College (now online only)

What is it like to be one?
   Similar to and different from teaching full-time
        o   Prep
        o   Delivery
        o   Communication & Feedback
        o   Policies & Procedures
   Full-time
        o   Text-book reps visit and share info about textbooks
        o   Access to campus resources
        o   Paid for hours in addition to teaching time for prep
        o   Get release time or overload pay

   Online Adjunct
        o   May not be aware of ancillaries available
        o   May be geographically removed from campuses
        o   Paid only for teaching hours (by the credit hr)
        o   No release time or overloads

    •   Full-time
            o   Might be able to opt for f2f meeting to explain complex content
            o   Has access to campus resources
                         Computers
                         Internet connection
                         Videoconferencing equipment

            o   Sick pay or access to substitutes

    •   Online Adjunct
            o   Relies on the platform to explain complex content
            o   May be geographically removed from campus, so may have to provide own:
                         Computer
                         Internet connection
                         Videoconferencing equipment
            o   No sick pay and limited (or no) access to subs

Communication & Feedback
•   Full-time
        o   Can get to know students through f2f advising and classes
        o   Has an office phone for long-distance calls to students
        o   Can easily utilize nonverbal communication
        o   Has more channels of communication open to him/her

•   Online Adjunct
        o   Rarely meet students f2f
        o   May only have a personal phone for long-distance calls to students
        o   Relies on technology for nonverbal communication
        o   Relies more on Internet for most communication (eMail, eLearning)

Policies & Procedures
•   Full-time
        o   Access to administrators for clarification (meetings, hallways, one-on-one)
        o   May have a hard copy of PPM
        o   May be the program chair
•   Online Adjunct
        o   Rarely meet f2f with administrators
        o   May not know how to access PPM
        o   Relies on program chair or online faculty coordinator

When is it Time to Hire Online Adjuncts?
   When enrollments outgrow full-time instructional capacity (3)
   When full-time faculty don’t want to teach online or are very bad at teaching online
   When adjunct pool is limited

Distance Ed Enrollment
   College-wide DE unduplicated headcount nearly doubled (up 98.0%) from 2002 to 2005
    Compared to an 8.1% increase in total college-wide unduplicated headcount(4)

Where to Find Online Adjuncts
   Ivy Tech Pool of Certified Faculty
   Placement service of school that offer online degrees in content area
   Online at:

Pencil-Drop & Reach for the Sky1
    •   Drop pencil (or pen)
    •   Exhale down
    •   Inhale up
    •   Stretch arms over head
    •   Look up at the ceiling
    •   Imagine a word or phrase on the ceiling that captures the main concept of this presentation
    •   Take 30 seconds to think about how you might use what you’ve learned so far
    •   Discuss this with your neighbor for 2 minutes and 22 seconds

Why is Training Important?
   Credentials do not equal suitability to teach online
   Digital immigrants are not as familiar with the Internet as digital natives
   Many have never taken an online course
   Many have never taught an online course

How can an Institution Help Online Adjuncts?
   Training before assignment to an online class
   Course modules/templates
   Syllabus templates with school policies/procedures
   Links to textbook publisher resources
   Mentoring
   Networking & collaboration opportunities
   Professional development opportunities (like Tech Day)
How can an Online Adjunct Help Him/Herself?

        Peter Meggison, NBEA President, in the February 2007 Business Education Forum recommends
         that anyone interested in delivering online content should FIRST
                 Take an online course
                 Place yourself in the students’ shoes
                  Get a feel for the “strengths and pitfalls of online instruction.”   (5)

         Test your Online Readiness (6)
        Take an online class on ANY topic that interests you.
        Sign up for Ivy Tech’s Online Faculty Certification Course

     Basic Skills Needed to TAKE an Online Class
     •   Keyboarding/word processing
     •   Email attachments
     •   File management
     •   Web research
     •   Time management

     Basic Skills Needed to TEACH Online Content
     •   Keyboarding/word processing
     •   Email attachments (same process used for uploading content into eLearning)
     •   File management
     •   Web research
     •   Converting files to Web-friendly format
             •    Word (.doc to .rtf or .html)
             •    PowerPoint (Camtasia, Producer, Breeze, .html, etc.)
     •   Time management
     •   Willingness to learn new technologies
     •   Good grasp of pedagogy/andragogy

     Learner-to-Facilitator Feedback
           Shout Out!
         •   Number between 1 and 5
             That many important points covered today (7)

1.   Puzziferro, M. (2004). Online adjunct faculty: issues & opportunities. Academic Exchange Quarterly. Retrieved
     October 21, 2007, from
2.   Ivy Tech Community College’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning (2007). Adjunct faculty survey.
     The Data Exchange, Issue 3. Retrieved October 21, 2007 from
3.   Puzziferro-Schnitzer, M. and Kissinger, J. (2005). Supporting online adjunct faculty: A virtual mentoring
     program. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (9)2. Retrieved October 21, 2007, from
4.   Ivy Tech Community College’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning (2007). Snapshot of distance
     education enrollment. The Data Exchange, Issue 1. Retrieved October 21, 2007 from
5.   Meggison, P. F. (2007). Business education goes online. Business Education Forum. 61(3). p. 6.
6.   University System of Georgia (2003). Student Online Readiness Tool. Retrieved February 23, 2007 from
7.   Bowman, S. (2004). Preventing Death by Lecture. Retrieved February 9, 2007 from

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