With the need for online professors to diversify and create their own job stability amidst a changing climate, it's more important than ever for professors to be prepared to apply to teaching positions when something of interest pops up.
As you may know, we offer a job application service that frees up clients' time by applying to online teaching positions for them, making certain that they are keeping applications in human resources job systems. Many systems will expire your curriculum vita in six months to one year, and require applications to new positions as they are available - even if your curriculum vita is already in the system. This is the only way to express interest in the new position in some systems.
Here are some trends we are seeing in online job applications for professors to help you build your teaching tool kit to apply to a great job when you see it!
- Sample Syllabus. Many job applications for online teaching jobs are now requesting that we upload a sample syllabus, we have created on our own for review into the job application system. This brings up obvious intellectual-property concerns. Many professors remove the identifying information from a syllabus if they are allowed to do so, and submit what they created. Professors with little or no experience or online or traditional instructors who have not created their own syllabi have uploaded course outlines they created just for the specific job app, or course outlines they created for courses they built in third-party systems. Udemy and Fedora are examples, and our new upcoming Babb Academy will also give some instructors an opportunity to do this. If it's a job you really love, you may wish to create a new syllabus; ask around in our teaching forum for assistance with this if you need it.
- Teaching Evaluations. More applications than ever require uploading copies of teaching evaluations. Some professors have submitted end-of-course evaluations with student information and school names removed to protect privacy. Others have uploaded letters of reference from their dean or department chairperson if they do not have teaching a valuations available.
- Statement of Research. There are various opinions about what a statement of research entails. Generally speaking, we recommend that you include what role research plays in an academic institution, what role research plays in a practitioner-based teaching environment if the school you are applying to is practitioner modeled, and your own research interests along with any articles you have submitted for publication.
- Letters of Recommendation. Attaching letters of recommendation to a job application is nothing new. However, the volume certainly is. We are now seeing applications requiring 3 to 5 letters of recommendation. Now is the time to ask peers and your boss for one if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, we have had forum members ask one another to write a recommendation about their engagement in the teaching forum, commitment to other educators online and best practice advice. Another reason networking matters more than ever!
- Social Media. Last but not least is social media. We have seen job applications have a placeholder for a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook page URL. We have asked Dean's what they're looking for, and generally the answer to that question is: engagement, ability to integrate social media into the classroom and subject matter expertise.
I hope this helps with your 2015 online teaching job search! We look forward to working with you in the new year!
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Contact the author Dr. Dani Babb