In the article, Instructor presence in the online class – Key to Learner Success, the author Debbie Morrison, discusses how the presence of a teacher in the online learning environment is key to student success. This article is of interest to me as I manage online instructors, and am constantly looking for ways to support my staff so they can create a more interactive and engaging classroom. This is difficult, because of the basic limitations of the online environment – simply put, there is far less interaction online than there is in class.
But online learning is increasing in popularity, and will likely continue to, as it makes learning accessible for those in remote areas, those who can’t afford to relocate, and those who want to be able to work while they are completing their education. The PID program is a prime example of this – though it is built in the continuing education model, for those who are working while going to school and extending their skills.
This article describes ways that instructors can establish presence in an online course – mostly through creating short videos, communicating regularly through forums/discussion boards, and providing feedback on assignments and input into glass discussions. I think our programs support the instructor’s ability to do all those things, and while I think the methods of establishing presence listed above are a good start, they do strike me as relatively basic. I think the most powerful way to create an engaging online classroom experience, is to create interesting activities and games and interactive assignments. Too many online courses – ours included – are just lists of links… Links to articles, videos, or PowerPoint presentations. Unless a school is willing to invest in the resources to build a truly interactive and unique student experience, the methods above are all an instructor has to establish presence.
Instructor Presence in the Online Class – Key to Learner Success. (2012). Online Learning Insights. Retrieved 27 March 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/instructor-presence-in-the-online-class-key-to-learner-success/