Prospecting and Preparation Strategies for Online Instructors


Here is a Web-based version of my conference presentation on the topic:

Prospecting and Preparation Strategies for Online Instructors

This Web-based PowerPoint presentation (optimized for the Internet Explorer browser) describe techniques to assess opportunities for online teaching, identify providers of online college courses, query them for online teaching work, complete the application and any training processes, and prepare for working as an online instructor.

Insights, experiences, and other brief comments welcome in reply,


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13 Responses to Prospecting and Preparation Strategies for Online Instructors

  1. I loved your presentation and would love to teach online. I almost feel like I spend so many hours per day online that it really is something that I enjoy and that I am good at.

  2. Doc says:

    Thanks Virginia, for your feedback on my presentation. Although I wrote that article and presentation some years ago, it is still relevant, so use it as a guide to prospecting for online teaching positions. Note that where you can teach varies by what degree and experience you may have, but there are online teaching (and training) opportunities for every degree level and prior experience. Continuing and professional education at colleges, community colleges, and some undergraduate programs are appropriate for an undergraduate degree. Masters is required for most undergraduate through graduate, and doctorate degree is preferred for them and required for doctoral level. Best wishes, Doc

  3. TLBush says:

    Thank you for creating such useful document. I found this extremly informative. Not only for myself, but for my husband who is an out of work teacher who is working as a medical biller. This one goes into my favorites!

  4. Doc says:

    Thank you for your feedback on my online presentation. I wrote the paper and presented it at a conference where teachers attended to share what I had learned over several years teaching online for many colleges and universities. Very little if any of that information has become outdated, so it can be a guide (and I hope an encouragement) to anyone who would like to teach online – whether you have taught before or not. What has changed is the ever-widening range of online teaching and training options extending from the youngest to oldest learners in informal to formal educational programs. Also, the range of online job search services and online directories useful for online teaching prospecting has expanded. I would include the following directory as a place to look for college programs of study that lists online programs:

    I would also encourage you to do a general online search for online teaching and online training associated with any formal education level (K through doctoral) as well as continuing and professional education (for which you don’t always need a degree to teach) and a wide variety of online training and mentoring. You could make an online business out of it as well!

  5. Rachelle says:

    I’ve been thinking about pursuing teaching online courses. After viewing your presentation, I am excited to continue my research and pursue this type of opportunity as a part-time endeavor. Thanks for your insight and encouragement.

  6. Lisa says:

    Doc, what a great presentation! I have always been curious in learning more about teaching college level courses. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Doc says:

    Thanks Lisa (and Rachelle), for your feedback on my blog post and presentation about online teaching opportunities. The range of opportunities is increasing each year in terms of academic fields and programs in which to teach, and also the grade levels being offered is widening to include K-12 classes and tutoring at all ages. As far as credentials, a graduate degree is generally acceptable, but often a doctorate is required or preferred for teaching at the college level, but there are also continuing education and professional studies programs in which an undergraduate degree (or in some cases no degree but professional experience) may be acceptable.

  8. Casey Neff says:

    Doc, thanks for the note and for the link to the blog. I found it very interesting and I think distance learning is only going to become more popular and effective as our tools and our knowledge about teaching and learning online improve. I do enjoy teaching, but I don’t know I’d have time to take this on until I have a better feel for my time commitments in this course. My wife administers a few online masters-level programs and has told me a few times I should talk to them about teaching. Just have to find my priorities, I guess. Thanks for the good info here.

  9. Michelle Bagwell says:

    Thank you for sharing this Doc. I am going to be teaching my first online course this summer at the college that I currently teach at (in person). I would love to add more courses that I can teach online. This was a perfect demonstration of the paths that I can take to make that a reality! P.S. If you ever need a virtual assistant for your courses, let me know! Michelle

  10. Doc says:

    Thanks Casey for your feedback on this blog entry about online teaching. I think that when time permits, you should follow your interest and test the waters, especially to see how your ideas about using online technology as a cognitive affordance (i.e., connectivist perspective) could be used to support learning.

  11. Doc says:

    Thanks Michelle for sharing your comment on this blog entry, and congrats in advance on teaching your first online course. Selecting the email notification option for daily or weekly announcements after a successful search for teaching areas of interest on sites like or will provide continuing opportunity to review and respond to online teaching openings. And having that first online teaching experience in your resume will add to your perceived value among prospective candidates. Best wishes in growing your portfolio of online teaching!

  12. Donna says:

    Thanks Doc, for sharing the information on online teaching, the steps and considerations that must be taken. I was not aware that training and mentorship might be offered, so this is great news for someone like me who would be just starting out. You mentioned several sites where online teaching posts may be found. I hope you won’t mind my sharing, HigherEd jobs ( also lists as well. That is another avenue that potential job seekers can use.

  13. Doc says:

    Thanks Donna for sharing your feedback on my post and for sharing the link to This site is very useful for doing a search for online teaching (or instructional design) opportunities in a given subject area and then based on successful search results, to select email notification on a given frequency (daily, weekly, etc.) to automatically receive any relevant job postings in that area via email (without having to return to the site to search on that topic again).

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