Hooray for Friday! The weekend is here and we can kick back and relax, get away from it all and decompress. No, not when you teach online and especially when you are assigned an all online load. Teaching virtually doesn’t mean I wake up in my pajamas and lounge around all day. Teaching online is a 24-7 job. It involves constant contact and long, long, long hours. Teaching online is Work, yes — with a capital “W.”
Just this week I’ve logged over 60 hours and counting. And it won’t stop this weekend. Part of being online is being connected. Students expect a technological tether — a link to the teacher and fellow students in the class. It is up to me to foster that link and keep it strong throughout the semester. This means logging on multiple times a day, everyday, to check e-mail, post on Discussion Boards, update Announcements, listen to voicemail and serve on campus office hours. However, as every good online teacher at COD knows, the 10 contractual office hours don’t begin to scratch the surface when teaching online.
Online teaching is all of the time. Many students elect to enroll in online courses because of the flexibility. If they are working or managing their household, they can submit an assignment at 2:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m. But they expect the teacher — their technological tether — to be there waiting on screen, no matter what time of the day or night.