adjunct instructors

Podcast: APPlause for APPS: How to Use Apps in the Classroom to Create Meaningful Connections and Engage Students!

Many instructors are interested in using technology to spark student engagement, build collaboration, and increase a sense of connection and community in their courses.

Are you among these instructors? If so, you’ll be interested in the inspiring ideas shared in this podcast. Shawn Orr, Digital Educator at Cengage Learning and adjunct instructor at Adrian College (Adrian, Michigan), discusses how she uses technology in her class to create meaningful connections.

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The Value of Professional Development for Adjuncts

Statistics indicate that adjuncts teach close to 60% of the students enrolled in community colleges across the United States. Therefore, coordinators of adjuncts should seek opportunities to keep adjuncts abreast of current trends and practices in their field.

In this presentation, Essie Childers of Blinn College points out several reasons why professional development is important for adjuncts.
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Creating Connections Among Dispersed Faculty

According to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, 49% of adjuncts rarely feel connected to fellow educators, and 8% never feel connected. On a similar note, 40% of the adjuncts who responded said that “poor connections to colleagues/institution” posed a challenge to their work.

How can you help improve these connections and develop community among the adjuncts on your campus?
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Creative Incentives to Increase Adjunct Participation

Contributor: Sherri Singer, Adjunct Institute Coordinator and Department Head, Alamance Community College. No budget for professional development? No problem! There are a variety of inexpensive incentives you can use to increase adjunct attendance at professional development sessions. As adjunct coordinators, we all know that funds are limited and that adjuncts are pulled in many different directions. While professional development is one of the most valuable activities adjuncts can take part in, it is also one of the hardest in which to encourage participation. Adjuncts need an incentive to fit training sessions into their already busy schedules. These incentives fall into Read More…

Partnering with NISOD to Support Adjunct Faculty Needs

Adjunct faculty face a number of unique pressures that make it challenging to obtain the professional development opportunities they want and need. In recognition of adjuncts’ growing need for training and support, we are expanding our partnership with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) to co-host a a variety of high-quality resources covering professional development topics for adjunct faculty and administrators. These efforts represent our joint commitment to supporting adjuncts in their careers. This fall, Cengage Learning Digital Educators and faculty partners will present blog posts, podcasts, and webinars related to our theme: “Be Connected: Using Digital Tools to Read More…

Reflections on the Adjunct Experience

We thought it was appropriate to close our current series on the adjunct experience by sharing some of their thoughts, in their own words.

At the end of our survey on the adjunct experience, we closed with the question: “Do you have anything else you’d like to share about your experience as an adjunct?” We heard from several of the adjunct instructors, and noticed some common themes among those responses. Below, we’ve grouped their comments into five common themes, and included several representative quotes from some of the respondents. If you’re an adjunct, and you’d like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment below.
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How Strong Are Adjuncts’ Connections with Colleagues?

Recently, we’ve been looking at a number of aspects of adjunct instructors’ teaching experiences, including the challenges of the adjunct role. Of the instructors we surveyed, 40% mentioned that “poor connections to colleagues/institution” posed a challenge to their work. Today, we look at this aspect of their experience in greater depth, and share a few ideas that may help adjuncts at your college feel more connected to their colleagues and other professionals in the field.

Do adjuncts feel connected with colleagues and other professionals?

In any professional environment, connections with colleagues can be beneficial (not to mention enjoyable). The longer you work at Read More…

The Strength of Adjunct Instructors’ Connections with Students

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring various aspects of adjunct instructors’ experiences, such as the top challenges that adjuncts face, as well as the top benefits of teaching as an adjunct instructor.

Among the benefits, 75% of the more than 170 adjuncts who responded to our survey named “interactions with students” as one of their favorite aspects of their jobs. Undoubtedly, this comes from the classroom experience: their ability to interact and engage with the learners who enter their (physical or virtual) classrooms.

In today’s post, we’ll explore in greater depth what adjunct instructors had to say regarding their ability to connect with students, as well as the strength and quality of those connections. How confident are they in the current state of those connections? And, what might help them develop even stronger connections that lead to improved student success?

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Do Adjuncts Have the Teaching Resources They Need?

As you prepare for this coming term, you’re likely making sure you have all the teaching resources you need in order to make your course a success. For adjunct instructors, who sometimes receive course assignments at the last minute, and who often lack connections on campus, these last-minute efforts may prove challenging (or, at the very least, more time consuming).

In our Spring 2015 Instructor Engagement Insights survey, we asked adjunct instructors a number of questions about their teaching experiences. Among these questions, we asked several regarding the resources they want, and need, to teach successfully.

While reviewing the data, we saw that, overall, most adjuncts are able to obtain the tools and resources that enable them to teach their students and manage their courses well. When we asked “Do you have adequate access to the resources you need?” 78% said yes, they did.

But as we looked more closely at the specific resources that adjuncts say help them lead their classes, did we uncover any significant gaps between their teaching needs and what’s actually provided to them? And what might you be able to do to bridge those gaps (whether you’re an adjunct yourself, or you’re in a position to help them)? We’ll explore the results below.

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Top Challenges Faced by Adjunct Instructors

As we’ve observed throughout our series on adjunct instructors, they’re not a monolithic group.

Going by their reasons for working as adjuncts, their teaching loads and schedules, and their thoughts on full-time work, they’re a group as varied as just about any you might find.

However, as we’ve looked over their responses to our Spring 2015 Engagement Insights survey, we have observed some commonalities and trends, especially in terms of what they value about the job, and what they find difficult.

Previously, we explored the benefits of working as an adjunct instructor, which revealed that teaching topics they’re passionate about and making connections with students were their top sources of fulfillment.

We also reviewed the data from our survey to better understand the challenges that adjunct instructors face.

Below, you’ll see the results of the survey, and also review some tips that can help adjunct instructors overcome their challenges and achieve the success they hope to reach.

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