Survey identifies policies for on-campus and online adjuncts as place for improvement

Dive Brief:

  • Since many of the same policies govern the work experiences of on-campus and online adjuncts, many of their difficulties are the same, and the one-size-fits-all approach may be flawed, according to new survey data from WCET and The Learning House.
  • eCampus News reports online adjuncts take on the responsibility of developing the course 31% of the time, and 21% of online adjunct faculty can fully customize the course as they see fit.
  • While campuses provide technical and instructional design support to online faculty in high numbers, few of these faculty have the opportunity to participate in professional development, as that is generally offered on campus.

Dive Insight:

Adjunct faculty make up a growing proportion of higher education instructors at many institutions around the country, in part because they are cheaper to budget for. Adjunct contracts come with little to no job security and give institutions maximum flexibility from term to term. This has led to activism among adjunct faculty, including at Lesley and Tufts universities in Massachusetts, where adjuncts voted to unionize last winter and fall, respectively.

The survey's findings that campus policies, including recruitment and hiring, are the same for on-campus and online adjuncts may identify a place for improvement. The different modalities should at least prompt administrators to think twice about whether the same policies can serve both populations.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Policy & Regulation Online Learning
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