Penelope Adams Moon has an thoughtful opinion piece at Inside Higher Ed today. In the article she argues that as an adjunct it is important to be connected to the campus. One way to do that is by coming to campus to teach her online courses.
She concludes with this:
Despite my contingent status, I come to the campus daily because I like my work and value the formal and informal interactions I have with my faculty and staff colleagues. To be sure, technology enables me to communicate with my colleagues remotely if need be, which I do when I’m at conferences or even when I don’t want to walk down the hall to ask someone a question.
But my physical presence on the campus provides me with insight into the range of issues and challenges — many of them subtle — that our department faces, and it means that I am available to serve when the need arises unexpectedly. I bring my identity as an online expert to the table in each and every conversation I have, whether that be in faculty meeting or when I grab coffee with a colleague in an effort to put off grading for 15 more minutes. My voice in those conversations helps chip away at an educational hierarchy that prioritizes traditional methods and campus-based students.
There are a host of reasons why online educators — particularly full-time contingent faculty members — should resist the lure of full-time telecommuting. If we hope to build an educational environment that truly values online spaces and online learners — not to mention non-tenure-track faculty members — we need to make ourselves impossible to ignore. The best way we can do that is to maintain both an intellectual and physical presence in our academic communities.
The full opinion piece is available here:
Just because professors who teach online don't have to be physically on campus doesn't mean they shouldn't be, writes Penelope Adams Moon.