Today’s Ask Dr. Diane Question: I noticed you work for a lot of universities. I’m considering working for several universities as well and I am curious what is your typical day like?
Answer: My days vary, based on how many classes I teach. I like to teach between 10-15 courses at a time. I also serve as chair for 10 doctoral students and work on 5-10 doctoral committees. Additionally I take courses to keep up with technology, education, etc. A typical day usually includes about 8-9 hours of grading papers, providing feedback, responding to discussions/emails, guiding doctoral students with dissertations, and developing curriculum.
I usually look at one school’s information at a time. However, I may have several school sites open at once, if my computer or the site is running slowly. It helps that schools have different due dates for assignments. For example, one school may require a “deliverable” or an assignment to be due on Mondays. Another may have assignments due on Fridays, etc. Usually it works out that all of the big assignments are spread out over the week. However, most of them have discussions going on that I respond to on a daily basis. I will go to a school’s site to handle all email, questions, discussion responses, and grade any submitted assignments. I do the same for the next school, and so on, until I have responded to every single item. I do not stop working until everything is graded. Most schools allow instructors a week to grade papers. I do not like to make students wait. If someone has submitted an assignment, I grade it as soon as I log on that day.
On weekends, less homework seems to be assigned, so I work less hours. I probably work around 3-4 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays. I do not usually take any days off, but that is not required. Schools usually require 5 or 6 days of work per week. The nice thing about working as an adjunct is that you can decide how many courses you can handle. You can start off with just a few and add more if you find you have the time.
- MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education
- Adjunct Advantages: The Future of Education
- Thinking of Taking an Online Class? What to Know Before You Start
- Jobs and Education Based on Your Myers-Briggs MBTI Type
- How Online Learning Compares to Traditional … Continuing the Debate
- The Top 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes
- College Costs . . . Good News Bad News
- Which Degree Will Make You The Most Money
- How Employers View an Online Education
- How to Teach Online Classes
- The Online Student’s User Manual
2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of an Online Professor”
This is a very organized and structured day. Do you tend to work on the weekends or do you have the majority of your work done during the day?
I tend to work from 6 to 8 or 9 at the most on weekends. I could skip those days and just work harder on the other days. I just don’t like to make students wait. Sometimes I only have an hour or two of work on those days. It all depends on how many classes I have going and whether doctoral students have dissertations for me to read.