There have been a number of articles posted in recent months on various ways to earn money by working from your RV. My esteemed colleague, Patti, has written several posts on this topic and shared specific details about tutoring students right from her RV. I submitted a post later last year about writing books from your RV and publishing them via Amazon.com’s Create Space division. I want to share another money-making tip today—teaching online college classes right from the comfort of your trailer or camper.
There are a number of colleges and universities that offer online classes. If you have any type of connection with a brick and mortar school, you may be able to teach an online class or two for them, giving you the opportunity to travel year round. If you do not currently have such a connection, I would encourage you to explore the numerous schools offering primarily online courses. A few of the most popular include: Capella, Phoenix, Kaplan and Keller, but there are a number of others.
There are several websites offering employment information for seekers of college teaching opportunities. One of the most popular is www.higheredjobs.com. It lists jobs for both online and physical colleges and universities and job seekers can upload a resume directly to the site. Further, the site allows you to select the type of courses you are looking to teach and whether you are interested in teaching only in an online or remote capacity or are interested in either option.
Each school differs in the qualifications they are looking for, but obviously a college degree or two is necessary, as is some real-world work experience in your field. Adjunct or part-time faculty members are generally hired to teach one or two courses per term or semester, which generally amounts to a modest part-time income.
Most schools require instructors to provide a live online class or seminar on approximately a weekly basis. To do this you will need a computer, internet access and a headset with a microphone. Many schools will provide the headset at no charge but you may want to invest in your own to choose the style and options you are comfortable with. To compensate for the lack of a physical classroom, a sense of class community is usually fostered via require postings on what is called the “Discussion Board.” Classmates usually must make an initial post of a specified length on a prescribed course-related topic and following specific criteria, as well as comment on posts of fellow classmates. Courses are generally broken into weekly units and require a quiz, assignment or project to be completed each week.
Instructors will need to be available for the weekly seminar, as well as able to post comments in response to students’ posts on the Discussion Board and grade posts and assignments. Some weeks the work can be time-consuming, but just about everything is doable from an RV. Further, depending on the time of your weekly seminar, most of it could be done in the evening after your day of exploring your current surroundings and other camping activities is complete. You could even do this sitting around the campfire at the end of the day.
Therefore, a laptop you can travel with and a headset with microphone is all the equipment you truly need. Most RV parks these days have wifi service available so that should not be an issue. If your park does not, you can always buy a portable unit to provide you with an internet connection nearly anywhere you will go. The only other item that may be helpful, especially if you are on the road full-time, is a small printer that you can pull out and hook up in the event there is something you want to print out, whether it is notes for your seminar or portions of the textbook. If you only travel part time, you would, of course, want to do your printing from home before you head out.
But if you have some education and experience in a particular field, and are looking for a way to earn a part time income that can travel with you, teaching college courses online is a great option. Good luck!
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