April 07, 2003

Earn Your Degree Fast!

"When you purchase pursue your degree through AIU's online campus, your classroom is as close as your Internet connected computer. No need to rush to class right after work, spend your weekends inside a classroom, or put your life on hold. At AIU Online, class starts whenever and wherever you log in. You can participate at any time of the day or night and have the same great experience...
....Whatever your situation, AIU can take you to the next level of education and opportunity, at your convenience."

-- "Virtual Class," an unsolicited email sent to me by American InterContinental University Online

When I received this spam from the American InterContinental University Online, my finger paused over the delete button. Oh, I knew I should trash the message immediately, but (it's like picking at a sore, I suppose), I just had to read on. So I clicked on the link that shouted "Visit For Your NO COST information."

I have visited the online university, which bills itself as "A Modern Virtual Campus with a Brick & Mortar Pedigree," and I now offer the following traveller's account for the edification of my fellow adjuncts. Never let it be said that I haven't done my best to bring you up to (hyper)speed on the latest teaching opportunities for those who wish to join a team which "[creates] incredible synergiesfrom which remarkable success and overachievement is produced."

Do you want to become an online faculty memberof the AUI Online? You are but a mouseclick away from submitting your application, which should include the usual elements -- cv; cover letter; transcripts; references; statement of teaching philosophy (philosophy? that has rather an antiquated ring, but I suppose it is part of the "brick and mortar pedigree" to pay homage to the dead) -- along with something they call "datasheets," to be obtained how and where and why I cannot say. There's no mention of salary rates on the website, but they boast an impressive line of benefits: Flexibility (again, the early-modern putting-out system); Add to Your Experience; Networking with Others. Description of the requirements for employment is just the standard blather, though with the additional requirement of willingness and ability to master the principles of Fourth Dimension Learning (TM). If you are selected for one of their exciting employment opportunities, you will be required to "attend an online orientation, hosted on our Virtual Campus," for which you will almost certainly not be paid. After successful completion of this virtual (dis)orientation, you will then "teach" courses designed by their own "internal course development staff, [who] work with subject matter experts to develop all courses in-house, [so that] online faculty have more time to teach, coach and interact with students." In other words, prefab syllabi to ensure a standardized course delivery system.

Teaching I know. But "coaching" and "interacting" in a virtual dimension? This they did not tell me about in graduate school. Ah well, there's a lot they didn't tell me about in graduate school.

But let's stay positive, shall we?

If the AIU Online website is offering an accurate representation of its student body, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that your students look like Banana Republic models. You know the look: casual elegance with a slight hipster edge, the "new neutral" tones with clean, uncomplicated lines. Not that you will ever meet any of these beautiful young people in the flesh. But you can imagine them in your virtual classroom. In so doing, please conceive of at least one exceptionally good-looking female student who is very, very blonde and at least one exceptionally good-looking male student who is a very dark-skinned African American. Imagine the two of them sitting next to one another in order to highlight the harmonious contrast. Very chic, very cool, very Banana Republic. Of course these two students wouldn't really be sitting next to one another, each would be attending class from the privacy of his or her own home, perhaps thousands of miles away from one another. But you may fantasize and synergize as you please: the virtual university is everywhere and nowhere.

There is more. For example, among the amenities it lists is something the AUI Online calls "an award-winning Cybrary." But I find that I am having trouble with my synergy. (I am redundant. Aren't I too young to be so very redundant?). So I will have to leave you to conduct your own online exploration, but not without offering this final word of warning: The Webmercial is a must-see, but please don't watch it if you are in a "down-and-out-in-the-academy" mood.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at April 7, 2003 10:27 PM

credentialism is a dangerous thing, especially if you're hopes are put on it when really you should have been backing meatspace networking at the ivyleague/sandtone/oxbridge brand you did not go to

Posted by: meika von samorzewski at April 8, 2003 12:18 AM

not at all related, but I like what you've done with the colors!

Posted by: elaine at April 8, 2003 02:43 PM

Thanks! My previous colour scheme was ponderous, pedantic and downright depressing. I decided it was time to lighten things up.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at April 8, 2003 03:05 PM

I am interrested in teaching degree,i can achieve in a few months. Thank You

Posted by: jolanda marchman at August 15, 2003 08:11 AM

I am interrested in acheiveing my degree in a few months.

Posted by: jolanda marchman at August 15, 2003 08:13 AM

I am interested in finishing my bachelors withing a few months.

Posted by: Pauline at October 6, 2003 10:55 AM