Working Conditions of Online Instructors

On Line Teaching Working Conditions Survey

 
Deadline for responses: December 9, 2014

This survey is for anyone who is teaching on line in colleges or universities. We are looking at working conditions -- how much people get paid, how many hours they work, whether they have union representation, how many students they have in a class, whether they get paid for writing courses, how they are evaluated, etc. When we have collected enough responses to get a sense of what's out there, we will categorize the examples as "good," "bad" and "ugly," in an attempt to set some kind of standard of what decent working conditions for on line teachers might look like. This will in turn be used as a basis for discussion.

You do not have to give your real name in the box where it asks for your name. If you want to remain anonymous, just type in some random letters.

We do, however, need the name of the institution where the conditions you describe are in operation.

This survey is a project of the Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) and the Online Teaching Working Group of the United Association of Labor Education (UALE). The results of this survey will be reported out, without names of any individual people, to the COCAL Advisory Board and at the March 2013 UALE meeting in Toronto. Names of institutions, however, will be reported.

Please distribute this widely to help us collect as many responses as possible. If you want me to send it to someone, tell me via email at hworthen@illinois.edu and make sure you give me that person's email address.

Thank you --

Helena Worthen
for the Coalition on Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL X) and the OnLine Teaching Working Group, UALE
1. What is your name? (Insert random letters if you prefer to be anonymous)
*
2. What is the name and location of the institution at which you teach the class you will tell us about? Example: Roosevelt University, Chicago, or National Labor College, Maryland.
*
3. What is the name of the class you are going to tell us about?
*
4. What is your employment status when you teach this class? (You may teach other classes at the same institution under a different employment status - just respond in terms of this particular class.)
*
5. Do you teach this course as a faculty person who is
6. How many other courses do you teach in a semester (15-17 weeks) while you are teaching this course? If you are teaching it as a compressed class along with other classes, mention that in the "other" box.
7. True or False: An important part of the mission of the institution where I teach this course is to reach students who are geographically dispersed, live in remote place, or have mobility limitations, so distance learning is an effective response to that challenge.
8. True or False: I believe that this course, and the expertise which I bring to teaching it, is an indispensable contribution to the mission of the institution where I teach.
9. Did you write the course you teach?
10. Were you paid for writing this course, in addition to teaching it?
11. Why do you think this institution is offering this course online?
12. What kinds of communication technology do you work with in teaching this course?
13. Is your course asynchronous (students and instructor log in during a time frame but not at any particular moment), synchronous (everyone is on line or on the phone/skype together at the same time, as if they were in the same place), mixed (some synchronous, some asynchronous)?
14. Were you paid for writing this course? If so, how much? If you got paid more than $3,000 for writing this course, include some details in the "other" comment box.
15. If you wrote this course, who owns the copyright?
16. Do you edit or update this course?
17. What kinds of academic support to you get to help you teach this course?
18. Do you have a seniority right to teach the course in the future?
19. If you wrote the course and someone else teaches it for your institution, are you financially compensated?If so, say how much.
20. Do you supply your own computer?
21. Do you supply (pay for) your own internet access?
22. Do you get a contribution from your employer as a technology subsidy?
23. Do you get tech support?
24. Where do you do your work for this course?
25. How many students are enrolled in this class? If the answer is "over 40," please give details in comment field.
26. Do you get paid per student?
27. How many hours a day do you devote to teaching this class? (Assume it is a regular semester class, 14-17 weeks. if it is a compressed class (7 weeks) divide the actual number by two. (This assumes that if you spend 3 hours a day on a 14-week class, you'd spend 6 hours a day on a compressed class.)
28. What do you get paid to teach this course?
29. Are you paid:
30. Do you get any benefits from your employer?
31. Do you have representation through a union?
32. Do the teachers in your institution who are doing online instruction ever meet together?
33. How are you evaluated for this course?
34. What happens when a student makes a complaint about you?
35. Please tell us briefly anything unique or unusual about your working conditions. This might include the nature of your students, the mission of your institution, location of your students, the content of your class, the nature of your assignments, etc.
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