Welcome to the Guild of Indie Teaching

Why you are receiving this email

You are receiving this email because sometime in the last four years you agreed to receive updates from me on the project that has become the Guild of Indie Teaching. If you are no longer interested, please hit the unsubscribe button or just let me know.

It all started with a survey I did to understand what advice professors had for others who wanted to become professors. Eventually I published a book on this topic, which has sold over 100 copies since publication. I have also written a few articles on different aspects of the academic job search. Links to these are available from the Indie Teaching section of my web site.

The a-ha of the survey was how many people were frustrated about higher ed teaching today and the challenges in finding teaching positions, even part-time. That was four years ago before the pandemic changed the world including higher ed.

Four years ago I had two ideas.

First, many bright and talented teachers were being prevented from teaching because of the limited opportunities to teach in higher education.

Second, many less bright and talented people were teaching online, independent of colleges and universities and publishers.

Those two ideas inspired me to work on a way to support professors and other teachers who were interested in offering their own courses independent of the formal educational system. The idea of indie teaching was born.

A year ago I put all of the research and thinking I had done to create the Guide to Indie Teaching, which I published as a free PDF download. Since then a little over 30 people have downloaded the guy, mainly contacts I made through social media when someone asked about how to create and publish online classes.

I continued to work on what advice and tools were best for indie teachers. While there are many courses available for thousands of dollars and software platforms that charge a hundred dollars a month, I wanted to find solutions that were more affordable with the goal being as close to free as possible.

Before I started in higher ed over 20 years ago, my career was in IT especially around web design. I have also been teaching online myself since 2000. I have a relative unique background to work on these issues.

While I was making slow and steady progress on this project, the world was upended this spring. Suddenly all higher education became remote higher education, and all professors were forced to learn online teaching and technology.

Now we are starting to see the second order effects of the pandemic. Colleges and universities are faced with declining enrollments, reductions in revenue from room and board, and reduced state support. We have already seen furloughs and lay-offs, many impacting faculty, and we are still early in the fall-out of the pandemic in higher education. As I have coached friends making the shift to online teaching, I have found the ideas of Indie Teaching to be useful in thinking about online teaching that is not indie.

At the same time that higher ed is struggling with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be, the larger economy is being re-shaped. Whole industries especially in services have virtually disappeared. Workers need new skills for opportunities in the pandemic economy. Traditional forms of entertainment and socializing are no longer safe. As a result, there is a greater need for online learning outside of higher education.

There has never been a better time to become an indie teacher, and the skills of online teaching are relevant either for classes you produce for yourself or for a college or university. Membership in the Guild of Indie Teaching is free and without obligation. I do not plan on sending out many messages to the list…just updates when new resources become available.

If you want to check-out the web site for the project, check-out: https://www.chrisdavisphd.com/indie-teaching/

There is also a quick start guide in the archive for the newsletter: https://indieteaching.substack.com/p/guild-of-indie-teaching

Thanks for reading.