Checklist: Preparing Adjunct Faculty to Teach Online

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Department chairs and program directors are busy people, and orienting adjunct faculty may not be top of mind. But adjuncts who are teaching online for the first time need support and information to hit the ground running. Here is a quick checklist of items to cover with first-time online instructors.

by Teresa Focarile, Boise State University
(who also wrote: "Adjunct Faculty: A Department Chair's Guide to Orienting New Instructors")

Many institutions are expanding their online course offerings, and using adjunct faculty to do so. While these faculty members are often teaching from a master course and therefore are not responsible for developing the class, there is still important information about teaching online that needs to be shared with these new instructors in order for them to be effective online teachers, and to ensure they understand the expectations for teaching in your program (Larcara, 2011).


Some items on this checklist might already be in place. For example, most institutions have a team that can get adjunct faculty up to speed on the functionality of the Learning Management System (LMS). In addition, many institutions have developed trainings (sometimes mandatory) for faculty who teach online. But if your institution does not have those kinds of supports in place, and/or if you want to give your adjunct faculty specific information about teaching for your program, here is a checklist of essential online teaching knowledge you should make sure to review with your first-time instructors.

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More Resources on Orienting and Supporting Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty: A Department Chair's Guide to Orienting New Instructors | Article

How RIT is Building An Adjunct Community | Article

Managing and Supporting Adjunct Faculty | Recorded Webcast

Negotiating Successful Adjunct Union Collective Bargaining Agreements | Recorded Webcast

More Resources for Department Chairs

Communication and Conflict Management: A Handbook for the New Department Chair
Book | by J. Emmett Winn

Effective communication will make or break a department chair. Get a primer on the essential communication and conflict management skills that every department chair needs.