A research study in Journal of Interactive Online Learning found that the main instructor action to which students attributed their success in an online course was the feedback provided by instructors that helped them understand their strengths and weaknesses. The second most important success factor identified was the effective moderation of student discussions. (Kupczynski et al., 2010).
Garrison and colleagues position teaching presence as one of three components of the Community of Inquiry – a framework that seeks to explain the online learning experience as interactions between three overlapping presences: Teaching, Social and Cognitive.
So how do you establish a teaching presence in UTSOnline?
- Become a real person: Make a welcome video clip of no more than two minutes and set the tone for your subject’s learning community. Here’s how.
- Communicate regularly: Post a weekly announcement or even better a weekly podcast or video with course updates, general comments on discussions, blogs or wikis or references to upcoming assignments. Don’t be afraid to use humour.
- Give feedback on assignments: Give timely feedback throughout the semester. Consider recording short but personal and specific feedback on an assignment.
- Actively moderate class discussions. Research suggests that students respond positively when instructors are involved in class discussions, rating this as a strong indicator of presence.