If you find yourself working longer hours or maybe feeling a bit more stressed at the end of the day, you’re not alone. Fifty percent of college faculty who completed the annual Faculty Focus reader survey said that their job is more difficult than it was five years ago. Only nine percent said their job is less difficult, while 33 percent said it’s about the same.
Teaching online is a rewarding experience; but any instructor who makes the transition to online education, thinking it will be easier and less time-consuming than face-to-face classroom teaching, is in for a big surprise! Establishing a regular presence in the online classroom, grading assignments and discussions, and maintaining records and notes from term to term are all time consuming – but essential – tasks. Learning to take care of the details of online teaching more efficiently makes it possible to be more effective in your teaching. The following is an abbreviated version of guidance I provide to new instructors about ways to keep their course files organized, students engaged, and workload manageable.
Faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities continue to experience multiple sources of work–life stress, but those at public institutions in particular cited financial concerns as a top source of stress over the last two years, according to a new UCLA report on teaching faculty at the nation’s institutions of higher education.
Bea Easton, the adjunct English teacher in Glen Chamberlain’s short story, “Conjugations of the Verb ‘To Be’,” is doing a crossword puzzle instead of grading English essays. She hasn’t touched the stack of papers since she read the first page of Staci Cook’s composition in which definitely is spelled defiantly and points are emphasized by using really twice.
Keith Restine, associate director of distance education, and Allison Peterson, senior instructional designer, both at Texas Woman’s University, offer the following tips for reducing instructor workload in discussion forums: You don’t have to be an active participant in every discussion. Let students know that although you will monitor all discussions, you may not be an
Shrinking budgets and increasing enrollments are putting online instructors in the position of teaching larger classes. Accommodating more students means rethinking how you teach your courses. Otherwise your workload can quickly become overwhelming.
Inadequate preparation, unrealistic expectations, and increased workload can be overwhelming for faculty members making the transition to department chair. Brenda Coppard, chair of occupational therapy at Creighton University, found this transition “just a little mind boggling” and decided to focus her research on it. Coppard chose a grounded theory approach to answer the questions, “What
Has the rapid expansion of online education put your institution on a collision course with faculty incentive policies? Although more and more faculty are teaching online, few colleges and universities are proactively addressing faculty workload, promotion, and tenure policies to more accurately reflect the differences between teaching online and teaching face-to-face.
Faculty careers are often divided into three phases: beginning, middle, and end. New faculty have been studied in some detail—probably because of the great influx of them. So have senior faculty, although less than new faculty. But what about that expanse in the middle? Researchers Baldwin, Lunceford, and Vanderlinden (reference below) quote sources describing mid-career faculty as “perhaps the least studied and most ill-defined period in life.”