Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The uncertainty of an online teacher

For those of you who teach online, I am sure you have experienced the anxiety or paranoia of not knowing if you will get classes again for the next term, or whether the section will even run. It is often an intricate weave of schools that online teachers work at, and with one slip of a class there could arrive financial hardship.

It turns out, just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you. I found this article “Digital Pink Slips” (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/29/profit-woes-means-less-work-adjuncts) particularly interesting, because it puts a voice to something I have been seeing and hearing from people I know; and the sad thing is, there is not a lot a professor can do about it.

I think however, there is something the schools could do, starting with communication. I do not mean the standard seemingly innocuous, politically correct email that means nothing and tells you nothing, what I mean is telling the truth and the whole truth, so people can make alternative plans. Yes, there will be disappointment, but not knowing your status can be worse because you could be wasting hope on something that will never appear.

Institutions please treat your online instructors with respect and talk with them if they will not be receiving classes, it does not hurt you and it is the right thing to do.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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