[Air-L] Online Teaching Opportunities and Practices

Alex Kuskis alex.kuskis at sympatico.ca
Thu Sep 5 09:49:30 PDT 2013

Unless things have changed in the last few years, which is doubtful, there
are indeed barriers to online instructors being employed by institutions in
other countries. All universities are entirely happy to enroll students from
other countries than their own, and many of them actively market in other
countries to secure international enrollments. However, they seem reluctant
to hire instructors from other countries, even within the anglosphere of
Canada, US, UK, NZ and Australia, where culture and language contribute a
strong common denominator.

I've been teaching online for about a decade, and presently teach for an
American university from my home in Canada. I've been employed by them for 6
years. But, previous to that, I encountered barriers in trying to secure
jobs teaching online with both US and UK universities. And even within
Canada, the university that proclaims itself as "Canada's open university",
hires tutors from its own province first, while marketing to enroll students
from right across Canada.

One institution in the US replied that they could not hire a Canadian
because of "tax issues". But my present US employer has no such tax issues.
And the largest university in the UK that uses online learning principally
explained that their policy was to hire "Online Tutors from the UK and
European Economic Community" only, though they conceded they needed to
revisit that policy. So much for Commonwealth solidarity!

I wrote a short article titled - "Barriers to International Faculty in
Global Online Learning" - about this issue a decade ago that was published
by an online publication in Australia called GlobalEd.com that is no longer
available on the Net. I'll send you copy, FWIW.  Here's a quote from it:-

"It is my contention that as online learning becomes increasingly global and
online universities and training schools market more and more to a
multicultural distributed clientele, that restrictive hiring policies with
respect to online contract faculty must change. Specifically, as global
online learning is international by definition, this internationalism should
be reflected not only in the learners, but also in the faculty contracted to
design and facilitate courses for them. Furthermore, distance learning
institutions which call themselves "open" need to extend their definitions
of openness to include faculty as well as students.

No nation has a monopoly on online learning expertise, and policies
restricting the hiring of contract faculty to an institution's own nationals
or based on other socio-political considerations, reflects an Industrial-Era
mode of thinking, with its domestic protectionism, borders, tariffs, and
cross-border employment restrictions. 

The Internet has no borders - firewalls yes - but borders no".

Alex Kuskis, PhD

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Michael Baron
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 6:31 AM
To: air-l
Subject: [Air-L] Online Teaching Opportunities and Practices

Recently, I've been doing some e-teaching and I noticed that while
e-learning content management systems (CMS) enable Universities not only
deliver their programs worldwide but also to employ lecturers/course
developers/coordinators from around the Globe, all of the institutions that
I've been involved with, employ lecturing staff that is based locally
(Australia). In 90% of the cases, the lecturers/tutors are expected to be
based in the same city as the institution they are working for.

Given the online nature of the delivery, I am curious why the
Melbourne-based training providers are so unwilling to employ
internationally-acclaimed professors/trainers/course developers and whether
Universities in other countries are managing their online staffing
arrangements likewise or not.

Have their been any papers published on this topic? Are their any truly
international Universities that recruit online teaching staff from all over
the world?

Any feedback/suggestions will be appreciated.
Michael Baron

Dr. Michael Baron
CEO, Baron Consulting
Website: www.baronconsulting.info
"My Body is my Temple"
"Be The Change You Want to See In The World." Gandhi

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