Information is Key!
Below is a list of things you should consider before and during your teaching tenure as contingent online faculty at any institution:
- What institutional resources are available to you at your campus? Figure out how you go about requesting these institutional resources because it varies by institution and based on your status at the institution.
- Is there an instructional design service?
- Are there courses for the LMS? Who do you call when problems arise during the term?
- Are there pedagogical centered courses offered?
- What is the role of disability services for assisting with making your courses accessible?
- (tech help, pedagogical support, instructional support)?
- Is the institution just handing you basic information and/or a pre-designed course and assuming you’ll figure things out? Those days should be over in OWI so this could be a sign that this institution may not be the best fit.
- What rights to do you have over the ownership of your course?
- Do you own the content outright if you leave?
- Do those rights change if you access support services on campus?
- Do you know—and have posted in your course—the resources on campus for students? because that’s one of the biggest issues: students not being prepared or ready to take an online writing course
- Who do you go to for support if you have a student issue? Do you have a direct supervisor?
- How will your work be assessed?
- Do you get an annual review?
- Evaluations from students?
- Does someone observe your course?
- What kinds of professional development does your department, college or university offer? Because once you become more experienced you still need pedagogical support
- Do you know how to contact other contingent faculty teaching online at your institution? Whether it’s online or face-to-face, the support of other faculty is so key to the online teaching experience and being able to share resources or ideas is vital. (If there is no support group on your campus, seek out help from The OWI Community Facebook group)
(Contributed by Lisa Meloncon, 2018)