Learn to Teach Online

TEACHING ONLINE — Learn to teach online with the complete guide for online instructors and teachers looking for work as an online adjunct, including tips and strategies to better teach online courses, military distance learning, online training programs, pay and salary ranges, using video games for online classes, and a free e-book on how to motivate and retain adult learners.


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Teacher Rates University of Alabama a Top Online Education School
Learn to Teach Online
By Kayleigh Gilbert   
Graduate of University of Alabama's Top Ranked Online Education School

The University of Alabama doesn’t have a Malaysia campus. But that didn’t stop Kelly Wright from earned a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Alabama while teaching at the International Community School in Singapore.

After completing a degree in Elementary Education, Wright was excited to expand her teaching credentials to include Special Education. Shortly after enrolling in The University of Alabama's Gifted and Talented program, an opportunity arose for Wright to teach in Kenya. The area's poor technology inhibited her from continuing her coursework. Determined to finish what she started, Wright resumed her graduate studies after moving to Singapore for her next teaching assignment. Social media and online discussion boards allowed Wright to complete assignments and interact with professors and classmates despite the long distance.


Free Elearning Instructional Design eBook: 131 Tips on Graphics and Animations
Learn to Teach Online
By Rachel Wang   
Wayan Vota/Flickr
Great Elearning Instructional Design Keeps Students Engaged
We’ve all sat through presentations with great material but awful graphics and animations. (Maybe you’ve even given one!)
Gaudy colors, obnoxious fonts and poorly laid-out illustrations can all distract students from content that deserves their time and attention. But, as an online teacher, you know how difficult it can be to strike the right balance between catchy graphics and over-the-top visual aids.
Improving your design can be the key to getting your message across with panache. That’s where the eLearning Guild’s latest ebook, “131 Tips on Graphics and Animations for eLearning,” can help. This downloadable read features more than 100 tips on how to make your presentations more eye-catching and informative.

Finding Balance: 4 Great Time Management Tips for New Online Instructors
Learn to Teach Online
By David Handlos   
stratman2 (2 many pix!)/Flickr
Beat the Clock with Time Management Tips for Online Instructors
I’ve blogged in the past about my (mis)adventures in online learning as a student...like using mobile learning appstransferring programs and study tips for traveling. This spring I was fortunate enough to join the University of Nebraska at Kearney as an online instructor. In an interesting turn of events, I began teaching online courses instead of taking them. 
Even more importantly, right before starting my inaugural semester as an online instructor, I was blessed to become a first-time father. This meant that I had to be better than ever at managing my time, or I’d miss out on seeing a lot of “first” moments with my daughter.
It wasn’t easy, but as the semester progressed, I learned four great ways to save time. These techniques helped me find balance between my job as a new online teacher and my life as a new parent.

Free eBook: 68 Take Away Tips for Online Student Engagement
Learn to Teach Online
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Aaron Jacobs/Flickr
Prevent Sleepy Elearners with Tips for Online Student Engagement
"Engagement is a critical element of learning. If we can get people to pay attention to what we’ve developed or what we’re saying and engage with us, the content, and each other, learning follows."
That's how Chris Benz, director of online events, introduces the eLearning Guild's new free ebook for online course designers: "68 Tips for eLearning Engagement and Interactivity."
This free ebook is worth hitting the download button. It's a treasure trove of practical advice on techniques that can help improve your elearning course design skills.
The end game: design ever-better elearning that engages and retains adult learners online.

LinkedIn Secrets to Find Online Education Jobs and Adjunct Positions
Learn to Teach Online
By Danielle Winkler   
Finding Online Education Jobs Online Adjunct Positions with LinkedIn
Searching for non-traditional jobs calls for non-traditional measures. And when it comes to searching for online education jobs or online adjunct positions, professional networking site LinkedIn is an oft overlooked resource.

Sure, LinkedIn is a great tool for finding job postings, but the real bang for your buck lies in the huge free networking opportunities this service provides.

LinkedIn is the perfect way for online educators to see and be seen. You can quietly peruse online job postings but you can also join group discussions, establish your professional resume, and control your professional online presence.

If you’re unfamiliar with LinkedIn, the online experts at GetEducated have prepared this handy crash course to get you started networking your way into your next online teaching gig!

Find Hidden Online Faculty Positions and Adjunct Jobs Using Google
Learn to Teach Online
By Danielle Winkler   
Online Faculty Positions | Online Adjunct Jobs | Lego Detective
Finding online faculty positions is tedious work. Whether you're an experienced online instructor, or new to online teaching, searching for virtual education jobs is time consuming. Searching for telecommuting or remote jobs is more complicated than searching for on-site positions. In addition, competition for open online adjunct jobs is often fierce because you are competing against applicants across the nation. 

A great place to start your search is at one - or all! - of the 7 Best Sites for Online Adjunct Faculty Positions, a collection of higher education job boards that universities use to advertise open remote positions. But guess what - there are thousands of other teaching opportunities that never make it to the commercial job boards. You've got to be search-savvy to find them though!

How to Find Online Teaching Job Openings: 7 Best Sites for Online Adjunct Faculty Positions
Learn to Teach Online
By Danielle Winkler   
Online Teaching Job Openings | Online Adjunct Faculty Positions | Jobs Classifieds Section of Newspaper
If you’re an online instructor who’s looking for online teaching job openings, you may find searching for jobs to be a daunting task. Just google “online teaching job.”  We did and got 103,000,000 results.  Good luck sorting through that humongous pile of data! Even trying to search job boards like Monster.com can be frustrating because it’s hard to narrow your search to 100% online opportunities.

But don’t despair! There are plenty of employment sites out there that are virtual-job friendly, and some even specifically cater to online instructors! To save you time and help you on your search, the editors at GetEducated.com have compiled this list of the 7 best sites that advertise online adjunct faculty positions and online teaching job openings. We’ve also included handy tips that we’ve learned over the years for how to search smarter to find those coveted work-from-home gigs.

Good luck! We’ve helped thousands of online teachers get hired over the last 13 years.

Let us know if you end up being one of them!

Becoming an Online Teacher: 5 Perils to Ponder
Learn to Teach Online
By Gail Overstreet   
photo credit: Helico (flickr)
Becoming an Online Teacher | Lego man juggling
If you're thinking of becoming an online teacher, you'd better be good at juggling tasks.
Becoming an online teacher must be much easier than managing a traditional classroom, right? 
You may be surprised.
In my experience, many new online instructors are unprepared for the amount of work involved in becoming an online teacher. Online faculty must be ready to face many issues and all manner of student complaints. Among them: poor college readiness; students' personal crises; and the complex management of the online classroom process.

Knowing how to handle all these issues, and many more, is critical to learning how to effectively manage an online classroom while staying sane! 
Read on for a trained-in-the-trenches view from an experienced online teacher. 

Ten Tips for Better Online Course Design
Learn to Teach Online
Online course design student

Looking for ways to improve online course design? Experienced online educators at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater have compiled a list of 10 practical tips, covering both design and the nitty-gritty of online course management.

Online business instructors Richard J. Wagner, Jeff P. Vanevenhoven, and James W. Bronson based their online course design and management tips on personal experience, research, and information from other online faculty. 

Their tips include:

* "Begin each module with a roadmap.”
Read more tips and resources for improving online course design and management

Using Video Games for Online Education
Learn to Teach Online
By Lorna Collier   
EducaOnline Education Video Games and Computer Gamestors interested in teaching online classes using video games are invited to take a free online course, offered by Canadian teacher Bill Belsey, known for his work with educational technology and cyberbullying prevention.

The course—"Learning With Gaming For Educators"—shows teachers how video games help students learn. It also provides resources to help teachers create their own games and develop game-oriented curricula. 

Learn more about this free online course for distance learning instructors


Free Handbook for Online Teaching
Learn to Teach Online
OnFree eBook for Teaching Online Coursesline college teachers can find learning tips and strategies for teaching online courses in a new, free e-book, produced by the University of Colorado at Denver.

The CU Online Handbook explores trends and issues with online learning, including how to make use of new technology. Articles cover topics such as:

• How teachers can transition from face-to-face to distance education
• How to use e-College 
• How to use web 2.0 and informal learning techniques
• Using blogs for educational purposes
• Instructional uses of Twitter

Read more about the CU Online Handbook and related resources

Affordable Online Masters Degrees in Education and Library Science
Learn to Teach Online
Most Affordable Online Masters Programs in Education and Library ScienceTeachers and librarians searching for online master's degrees should look first at public universities. GetEducated.com's new online college affordability survey has found that 27high-quality, affordable online degrees in education and library science are available for under $10,000.

We analyzed tuition and fees at 101 regionally accredited universities that offer 313 online master’s degrees to come up with national rankings of the 2009 Best Buys in online master’s for teachers and librarians. 
Read more about affordable online master's in education and library science

Online College Teacher and Military Instructor Loves Job on Navy Ship
Learn to Teach Online
By Lorna Collier   
Linda Beckham, crew of the USS Pearl Harbor

As the giant USS Nimitz plows through the Pacific Ocean, online college teacher Linda Beckham sits on board before her computer, hoping her Internet connection stays alive.

If not, she will lose contact with another set of military students she teaches—men and women stationed in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Beckham is both an online college instructor and a traveling teacher for Central Texas College Online. You will frequently find her on Navy ships like the Nimitz, teaching online associate degree classes in English and pre-algebra with groups of sailors—sailors who are sometimes so exhausted from their duties that they stand during class, for fear of falling asleep if they were to sit down.
Read more about Linda Beckham's life as an online and onboard teacher

Top 10 Free Training Courses for Online Teachers
Learn to Teach Online
By GetEducated.com Consumer Reporting Team   
Are you a “face to face” classroom teacher considering shifting to online education?

Or are you an online teacher interested in the latest technology to make your online courses more effective?

Free Online Training Courses for Distance Learning TeachersWhether you’re new to distance learning or an experienced online teacher, you can find free online training resources to fit your needs.  

For example, some online schools offer free training modules to help campus-based teachers learn how to transition to cyber-classrooms. Other organizations offer tips on designing online classes and teaching with technology. 

Here are 10 great online resources for distance instructors:
Read more to discover 10 free resources for distance educators

Guide to Finding Work as an Online College Instructor
Learn to Teach Online
By Lorna Collier   
Guide to Teaching Online CoursesWant to teach online, but aren’t sure where to send your resume? Curious about what kind of pay or working conditions you can expect for online instructors?

First point to consider: full-time, tenure-track online teaching jobs are rare. Most online colleges hire teachers to work at a distance. 

Second: Not all schools offer the same deals. Employment conditions such as pay rate, required training, and class size vary widely.  

Get Educated has compiled this guide to show you what to look for so you can land work as an online instructor at the post-secondary level.
Learn more about what to consider when landing an online teaching job -- including pay rates

Principles for Excellence in Online Teaching
Learn to Teach Online
Two Canadian university instructors who teach online have drawn upon their own experiences, as well as those of other online teachers, to come up with a list of principles to guide new online instructors and course developers.

Authors Jim Henry and Jeff Meadows of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta say, among other things:

• Technology is a vehicle, not a destination.
Read more principles and view paper

GetEducated.com’s Motivating & Retaining Adult Learners Online: A Journal of Research Articles and Practitioner’s Tips
Learn to Teach Online
How do you design your online courses and your virtual campus to keep online students engaged? 

What are things you can do in your online classroom to retain students?

GetEducated has put together a free downloadable e-journal
GetEducated.com’s Motivating & Retaining Adult Learners Online: A Journal of Research Articles and Practitioner’s Tips. This e-book features articles by researchers and online education practitioners on the science and art of building virtual campuses—including tips to improve retention of adult learners.
Read more about GetEducated e-book



Education has changed dramatically since the digital revolution, and technology in the classroom is no exception. 

When I began taking college classes at Dakota State University about 15 years ago, I had never sent an email or browsed this “Internet” that I was hearing so much about.

Technology in the classroom: students playing with an ipadBrad Flickinger/flickr


Even at a university recognized for embracing technology, DSU’s computer programming classes used methods that now seem archaic by today’s standards.

(Disclaimer: I now teach online and blended learning courses there in this very topic.)


Back then, I was impressed by a 32-inch TV/computer monitor with a remote control that doubled as a mouse. The professor advanced PowerPoint slides from anywhere in the room!

Students used pencils and paper, antiquated predecessors to the stylus and tablet PCs students use today.

But there’s a difference between how students are used to plugging in, and truly effective blended learning.

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Teaching online courses is a great way to earn extra income. Teach online and gain  flexibility over your work schedule of a type you never dreamed of as a traditional teacher.  With more colleges and universities adding online courses every semester, career outlooks are bright.


It’s time to get educated about how to land one of these dream online instructor jobs.


Vicky Phillips, founder of GetEducated.com, reviews where to start your job search, as well as how to snag some of the higher-paying online instructor jobs.


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Online Course Design | Teaching Students with DisabilitiesThe National Center on Education Statistics estimates that up to 11% of students in higher education have a diagnosed disability. These disabilities may be physical such as visual or auditory impairment, or may stem from biological processing problems that interfere with the ability of a student to process some types of information.


Unfortunately, many instructors don’t take this into account when it comes to online course design. According to a Wichita State University study, as many as 80% of all online instructors do not consider the needs of students with disabilities when designing or instructing their courses despite the high percentage of post-secondary students with disabilities.


The reasons for this oversight are varied. In my experience, instructors can become overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential disabilities present in a classroom. Attempting to tailor course design for teaching students with disabilities and accommodating a variety of learning styles can seem a daunting task. Additionally, many instructors are under the mistaken assumption that assistive technologies such as text-to-speech software automatically place students with learning disabilities on a level playing field with other students in the online classroom. In reality, online courses are rarely set up to maximize the effectiveness of these assistive accommodations.


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Educators Can Make Their Presentations More Interesting With Elearning Audiogavinr (flickr)

If you’re an online instructor, you can easily make your courses more engaging with elearning audio snippets. Adding sound to a course is simple, and you likely have the free audio tools you need right at your fingertips.


Most computers have onboard microphones and web cameras that work extremely well. Worst-case scenario, you may need to spend a few dollars for a headset and microphone if you don’t already own a set.


Using your headset, microphone and one of several free audio tools, you can easily record and upload sound files to a course management system or website. You don’t have to be too tech savvy, either. Most audio recording programs are equatable to downloading an application or signing into a website.


Interested in learning more? Here are my top 10 free elearning audio programs for adding sound to your online classes.

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Professor Rating Sitesntr23 (flickr)

Have you ever searched ratemyprofessors.com or a similar site to see how your students rank you? The results can be enlightening—or disheartening.


I recently received the following comment: “Worst Professor, i ever had. Avoid him.” The problem with this bad review? It was posted under a school I haven’t taught at in years. A disgruntled student simply wanted to criticize me and used any method possible.


As an online teacher, what can you do about bad reviews on professor rating sites?


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For Online Student Success, Use Best Practices in Distance LearningPJMixer/Flickr

College students arrive in online degree programs with varying levels of competencies, but success in higher education requires many different skills.


In addition to the basics, such as numeracy and literacy, certain soft skills associated with virtual work, including adaptability and teamwork, are critical to online student success. Distance learning students must also master technical skills, such as using computer platforms and Internet systems, to function effectively in school.


Below, I highlight five best practices in distance learning that will help online students develop the skills necessary for success. Schools that adopt these selected best practices will see students experience greater levels of success and online engagement.

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Teach Online With These 5 Best Mobile AppsWorld Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

Ah, the life of an online teacher. Just because you’re going on a family or work trip doesn’t mean you get to take a recess from class. In fact, it’s just the opposite: wherever you go, you have to make sure you can teach online.


It’s not just about uploading your assignments and updating gradebooks, either. When you’re an online teacher, you have to remain available to answer questions about coursework for ALL your students.


I discovered this first-hand over Labor Day weekend, when my wife, daughter and I spent a five-day trip in New Mexico visiting family. We enjoyed traveling, but there was one nagging detail…we were staying in a place with no Internet (gasp!).


What to do?

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An engaging class can keep online students from getting distractedDavid Ghoering/Flickr

Keeping online students engaged in an environment filled with distractions is one of the chief problems in distance learning today. Online students attend class in their living rooms, in coffee shops and at the park. Many students work via smart phones while on the move.


Ultimately, one of the main differences between taking a class online and in a lecture room is the degree to which other aspects of life remain in close proximity to the student. Distractions abound. Online instructors can help to solve this problem by incorporating student engagement strategies. Here are five techniques that work well.


How to Increase Online Student Engagement


1. Microcast


A microcast is a short podcast of no more than 5 minutes. Microcasts can be parts of longer lectures, broken down and made into a series so that students can listen in short bursts, or they can be designed to be independent, concise discussions of specific parts of your online course content.


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Learn How to Teach Online and Still Travel the Worldnerissa’s ring/Flickr

Teaching online offers the convenience of working from home. However, it also offers the convenience of working from anywhere in the world that has a reliable Internet connection. As soon as I secured work as an online teacher, my motto became “Have Internet card, will travel!”


I started traveling often and far in 2011. That’s when I also began mastering the critical elements of teaching online while traveling. Below are my six rules for how to teach online and travel the world. Follow these rules and you too can keep teaching full time without ever missing a class, e-mail, meeting or paycheck.


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Curb edge in Michigan, Universal Design in EducationThis handicap-inaccessible curb shows how Universal Design is often ignored.

(League of Michigan Bicyclists/flickr)


I received a forwarded email message last week proclaiming that providing mainstream accessibility for people with disabilities was “exploding in the computer area.”

Yet another promise of the amazing promise assistive technology holds, to save us all.

As someone with a severe disability (I have no use of either hand) who uses a computer (and a “phone,” and a television connected to the Internet), a fair amount (at least 10 hours a day), one might think I would be extremely pleased to be informed of such news.

None of this is new to me though.

Accessibility is far from being a recent development in the world of computing.

It has improved exponentially in conjunction with increased computing power, but free — and surprisingly effective — accessibility tools have been included with operating systems at least as far back as Windows 95.

The problem is not availability. It’s adoption, and reinforcement, of a set of standards and best practices that would benefit us all, able-bodied and disabled alike.

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