If you are considering becoming an online instructor, you have a good reason to. Over the past years, the number of students signing up for online education has been steadily increasing. Based on surveys conducted by Project Tomorrow in 2010 of high school students, 27% took at least one online class in 2009. This percentage is expected to double in the next few years, which means that there will be a greater demand for online educators.
Online Teaching Defined
Online teachers or instructors are educators who teach courses at a distance, thus the term distance learning, to students who access their courses through modules which are provided in educational websites. Aside from individuals with teaching experience, online teaching careers are also open to counselors or mentors who are capable of answering questions and providing emotional encouragement to online learners.
Qualifications for Online Teaching
Careers in online teaching are open to instructors from various backgrounds, from app developers to copywriters. If you have worked as a teacher, counselor, or instructor in a traditional classroom setting, you already have a relevant work experience that makes you a perfect candidate for an online teaching career.
Income of Online Educators
According to surveys done by Get Educated on the salary range of online educators, online college instructors generally earn $1,500 to $2,500 per semester course. For instructors who create online courses or prepare course assignments, the pay may be higher. Development fees for online courses would usually range from $1,000 to $3,000.
Many online teachers work as adjunct instructors, working on a contractual basis and are paid per course. Some of these online adjunct instructors work part-time, while others teach courses for several schools and accumulate work hours equivalent to full-time work. Full-time online adjunct work can give you as much as $100,000 in earnings. Online teachers interact with students through email, message boards, online “blackboards,” chat rooms or, in some cases, virtual reality platforms and software rather than face-to-face. Their students could be from around the country or around the world.
Skills Required for Online Teaching
To be qualified for online teaching, you will have to be able to convert traditional course materials into various online forms that will make it easily understood by online learners, while at the same time keeping them engaged in the course. Various materials may come in the form of video or audio lectures, downloadable PDFs, and links to relevant reference sites. You will have to possess basic computer technical skills so you are able to efficiently use online tools for coordinating with your students, via chats, forums, emails, VOIPs, and even on social media.
Online Teaching Certification
A master’s degree is required to be qualified as a college instructor. Certificates or special educational endorsements are not required, but are a plus for potential employers. Many college teachers have PhDs in their respective specialty fields. Nowadays, more and more colleges and universities are offering certificates in online education, as well as master’s in online teaching and online education design and development.
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by CourseMinded.com.