Originally Posted by esinedeggplant
lanamommyphd, what do you teach, if you don't mind me asking? I've been adjuncting and had no idea online university teaching could pay so much more.
I teach psychology. I have about 15 years of college teaching in, but only 2 in the online world. I teach for a uni that requires a PhD and is only online (for profit), so that might account for some of the pay-bump, but for a 6-week accelerated-style section, the base is 1400 plus 100 per student over 6 up to 30, so a max of around 3800. I can teach two sections at a time, so in the ideal situation (that never really actually happens, but can get close) I could pull in 7600 gross in 6 weeks. That blew me away, at first. But--and there's always a but---that could also be about 1800 for the six weeks too. It depends on enrollment. I can only "count" on the 1800.
I work "more" than I did when I taught in the brick-n-mortar world, but it's a different kind of work...I used to have lectures sort-of memorized over time, and I reused the syllabi and test questions, had the same assignments. I spent more time at the job in the "real world" (once we include office hours, driving to and from 3 days a week and live class time, prepping lectures and materials, schlepping and sorting papers, faculty meetings, etc, etc). In my current virtual world, course developers have already written the class. Tests, syllabi, course construction, book choice, you name it. That is all completed for me...and standard so if someone else teaches a section, the class doesn't really change. Sometimes it's a little stifling as it's harder for my awesome lecturer traits to come through, or for the wonderful and creative assignments I used to develop (and I miss now).
I grade one 3 page paper per student per week (up to 60), and one discussion board (about like a 2 pager) (up to 60). In the board, I respond to the majority of students, so about 40-60 max, or as few as 10 depending on the load. So, technically speaking, during a rough week I might have 120 "papers" to review and provide feedback on. So you see--more work, technically.
Each of these gets around a page worth of personalized feedback, so a lot of my work is paper-grading. Some days I feel like an English prof instead of a psychology prof, as I have some students who don't know how to cut/paste, and some that far surpass my own writing talent. While I'm not sure my students are getting the "fun" piece I used to put in the classroom, I am absolutely certain that the courses I teach now are far more rigorous than what I taught live.
What I love about it: I can work whenever I want. If it's going to be a crazy day at home, I can "make an appearance", put one thing in the classroom, and I'm done working after 2 minutes. If my kiddo needs me, she gets me. If we're on the road, I can "work" at McPoops for an afternoon. And the money. wow.
What I hate about it: the quality of students is sometimes shocking. This week, I have one who does not understand that grabbing a paragraph verbatim from a website is plagiarism. I've explained it 5 different ways. She's fighting me about it, and since she won't take the feedback I'll have to spend hours on an academic integrity report. I hate those. I also have one who can't write anything that makes sense, and will likely fail the course because she cannot understand what Grammarly is. I hate to fail students, I really do. But in the online world I can't just demand time from them to set them straight...I have ask and then wait until they call me..and mostly they don't. That said, in the live world I didn't see as much writing as I do now. We didn't use Turnitin then, and I'm sure some of many plagiarism reports I've had to write lately were also common then (I just didn't notice them).
I also hate that I never really know how much money I'll make. They split payments up over a couple of months, but even then, I have a "minimum" budget, and then "gravy". The gravy end of our budget is stuff like savings or shampoo or things that are gray areas of necessities, but we wouldn't be in total pain without them. Because lately the payments have been more towards the minimum, and we're having to pay rent for the winter as we're parked in the north, I've been seeking some cushion gigs. Sometimes I resent the limits on how the course is run, but other times I am quite thankful for them. I worry sometimes that of my two sections I usually teach, none would fill. Then, my vagabond lifestyle would come to a screeching halt...so it's not all that dependable.
I also take courses online! As an undergrad, no less. It's far cheaper than having to pay student loans for now, and much less headache than doing another graduate degree. I'll likely go back into NHSC for loan repayment at some point, but for now, I'm getting a look at how traditional uni's are handling online coursework, and it's mostly terrible!! It makes me feel like a rock-star professor, for sure! They have a need for folks who understand andragogy and understand how to maximize online tools, not just try to plug their old live class into the online world.
Modest just made my day! I'd been pondering heading overseas!! I'm totally looking at those (not phoenix, though. lots of friends have made no money there)