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Adjunct and Textual Freedom II

March 21, 2006

SP, in reference to an earlier post about adjunct freedom to choose his or her own text, writes:

I teach the only section of my course, but my course is part of a certificate program with very ill defined goals. We really could use a little more communication between instructors so that, for example, it’s clear what the students in a prerequisite course like Molecular Biology are being taught. So far, I have no knowledge of any meetings about the certificate program’s goals and I have never once spoken with another instructor. We’re all adjuncts with other jobs too, so I’m sure that’s part of the problem. But it does seem kind of sad to be spending our time on something that’s so poorly organized. It feels like even if I do the best job I can do it could all be wasted if the dots don’t get connected.

I must admit that my desire to teach to goals has come from experience over theory.  I have, as stated before, taught at a number of institutions.  The ones that seemed to enjoy the most success were those which employed some manner of centralized, per-course objectives.  The nicer ones of this set would allow the individual instructor to meet those standards in a manner of his or her own choosing (within reason, I would assume).  

The meaner ones, of course, would dictate down to the lecture (I am thinking online especially) the content they wanted presented in the course.  I did not enjoy these places.  I did not feel like a teacher, but more of an employee punching a participation clock (they monitored my feedback to ensure that I posted enough to satisfy their definition of instructor presence).

I will post more on my specific experience, both online and on-ground.  I kind of need to gear up, as I will start a new online course in a few weeks.  I have been fallow for this whole year from teaching—the first break from continual, year-round teaching in 6 years.

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