Online teaching jobs are hugely diverse and offer many different niches for educators to slot into. If you have a passion for your subject, and think you have a unique take on it that will have wide appeal, you could consider devising an online course. But will it work? Here are some things to consider. If you have a passion for something, or a special skill set, the chances are good that there are people out there who share your interests and would like to have your expertise. Offering a course could be fun, rewarding and a source of income. It can also be hard work, and you will want to make sure that the effort you expend creating a course won’t be wasted. A bit of market research will pay dividends in your online teaching jobs.
Are other people offering what you plan to offer? If so, then you could have competition. If not, it could be that there’s a wide open gap in the market, or that there just isn’t the interest. Make sure you know which is which. Online teaching jobs may be motivated by educational passion, but you don’t want to waste your time and energy.
Is your idea to make money? People will always pay for quality, and if your course includes individual attention, that could be a winning combination. Remember though that there’s a lot of free stuff available on the web – just Google ‘free online courses’. A new development is Open Courseware, available at no cost. Institutions like MIT, one of America’s leading universities, now put all their courses on the internet for everyone to benefit from. The only difference is that people who work through them this way can’t get degree credits. If you want to offer a course as one dimension of your online teaching jobs and plan to charge, make sure that somehow you’re offering people true value for their money.
Accreditation can be a big issue. Some people, and in some subjects, it doesn’t matter. But for career purposes some people want a certificate to show for their hard work, so consider whether your course will be worth their while. Think laterally – offering a free online course could be a great advertisement for your skills, services and commitment to your online teaching jobs. It could be worth doing even if it doesn’t earn you a fortune. You could offer a free course and then take on students who want extra tuition or interaction.
Find a partner. If offering courses appeals to you, then approaching institutions or businesses that specialise in online learning could be the way to go. You could benefit from their infrastructure and credentials and could even get the certification that some learners may want and need.As new courses go online every day the face of 21st century learning continues to be transformed. It’s certainly worth considering as something to do alongside your other online teaching jobs.