How to Become an Online Instructor

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Depending on the content area and level of instruction, becoming an online instructor generally requires academic qualifications, professional experience and relevant certification. Educational institutions require online instructors to possess at least an undergraduate degree in the content area and a graduate degree in education. Teaching experience in the online mode is also a requirement, although some institutions accept on-the-ground teaching experience and provide training in the relevant online learning management system. To be an online instructor for K-12 institutions in the US, state certification is required. With a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, you can start your journey towards becoming an online instructor.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • State certification for K-12 instructors
  • Teaching experience

How to Become an Online Instructor

  • Complete your high school diploma. With no high school diploma, acquire a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), which will allow you to enter an open community college. You may even be able to complete your GED at some community colleges.

  • Find a community college that meets your needs. Community colleges allow you to pursue a two-year degree and provide opportunities for obtaining relevant qualifications to enter a four-year college. You can also take developmental classes in mathematics and other courses needed to improve your skill level. Some community colleges have agreements with four-year colleges to give priority to in-state community college graduates with the relevant credits.

  • Select a four year college that best suits your lifestyle and academic requirements. An undergraduate and graduate degree are essential for becoming an online instructor for an academic institution. Some colleges offer scholarship opportunities. Explore all possibilities for financial aid to get the best options open to you.

  • Get certified if you want to teach in K-12 online schools. Some four-year college programs offer state certification in different areas of study while you acquire teaching experience. Call or check out the website of the appropriate state department of education for state requirements.

  • Learn the online technology. If you have been a student in online courses, you will be familiar with some learning management systems. Some educational institutions train all potential online instructors before assigning them to jobs. Before applying for an online instructor's job, check out the institution's training policy and the specific job requirements.

  • Reflect on your skills and experiences. You can also become an online instructor without academic qualifications. Several online institutions employ professionals as instructors in work-related subject areas and certified instructors in various fields classified as trades or hobbies, such as dancing or skiing.

  • Prepare your application documents. Create your resume with educational achievements and online experience towards the top. A digital portfolio of your coursework and relevant experience will be helpful.

  • Search universities' websites for open positions as online adjunct instructors, online tutors, online academic coaches and/or facilitators. Sign up on several job searching sites, post your resume, and create e-mail alerts to be notified of new job postings in your interest areas.

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