Study calls for clearer rules for adjuncts teaching online classes

By Benjamin Farniok, Minnesota Daily

About 75 percent of faculty are part-time or adjuncts nationwide. Adjunct faculty members instructing online courses often don’t receive enough training, according to a recent study. The study, released earlier this month, suggested schools develop clearer policies and laid out a number of problems with adjuncts teaching online classes. The report found many institutions do not have specific rules to handle faculty who teach online courses. Seventy-four percent have written policies for how often they are expected to interact with students, and 42 percent have policies detailing when instructors must respond to student inquiries. And the number of adjunct faculty in colleges across the country is expected to rise, said Russell Poulin, policy and analysis director with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Cooperative for Educational Technologies, a nonprofit that studies online learning.

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