How can you compete for online teaching positions?
Colleges are hiring adjuncts and part-time instructors for online courses. If you’re going to compete for these new jobs, you need to be highly skilled working with students in a distance-learning environment.
So what skills do you need? How can you make your resume shine?
Special Teaching Skills
Online teachers must create and moderate a community of learners. To develop and maintain channels of communication with students is a challenge both in distance and in time. And yet students must feel that there is a dependable, trustworthy professional teacher available for advice and consultation. As anyone who has experience with distance learning knows, the teacher often must help resolve issues of access and technology in addition to course content.
E-moderating takes patience. Written communications need precision and detail beyond what is necessary in the brick-and-mortar classroom. We correct and clarify ourselves frequently in face-to-face communication. When that dynamic is removed, precision and detail and clarity reign.
Special Computer Skills
Technology removes barriers, right? And you know how to use computers. Think again.
In reality, teaching online requires computer skills of the highest order. Virtual learning environment software, office software, and file management skills are only the beginning.
You must be fast and accurate as a typist, or you will lose time and you will send out messages with mistakes and omissions that leave students wondering about your competence.
You must have skills and resources in the art of search. Online teachers can’t afford to waste time searching in vain for answers to difficulties with technolgy or compatability or course content.
In addition, software programs are full of shortcuts. The average user may get by just fine without them, but the online instructor must master them.
Special Skills in Graphics and Design
In a virtual learning environment, the computer screen is often the most prominent and persuasive point of contact with students and prospective students. Relationships are made (and broken) by the graphic design of course content. Nothing kills confidence more quickly than bland and disorganized websites or blogs.
The online instructor must master web design and content formatting. All pages must be polished, links must be quick and accurate and accessible. You will lose your students quickly if they feel that the course content is not clear, accessible, and even asthetically pleasing.
If your students are ever more than two clicks away from exactly what they need, your in trouble. They won’t be happy with the content.
Why Earning a Degree Online May Help You Qualify for Online Teaching Positions
Students who have significant experience learing online have an advantage facing the challenge of becoming an online instructor. Knowing the ins and outs of distance learning from the other side prepares teachers for meeting and exceeding students’ expectations online.
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