Building Teaching Presence in Online Classes

Building Teaching Presence in Online Classes

Oliver Dreon (Millersville University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9995-3.ch001
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Abstract

In their framework outlining educational experiences for online students, Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) identify and explain the critical elements of a Community of Inquiry that support instruction and learning. The elements include: cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. While an online educational experience is impacted by the interplay of all three presences, new online teachers may struggle with developing a teaching presence since their own educational experiences as students may be very different from the ones they encounter as online instructors (Lortie, 1975). In this book chapter, the importance of teaching presence will be discussed. Strategies for developing online teacher presence will be examined and technologies for fostering teacher presence will be outlined. The chapter concludes with broad design principles that apply to the construction of online learning environments that foster a strong teacher presence.
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Background

In their examination of computer-based conferencing in higher education, Garrison, Archer and Anderson (2000) introduced the Community of Inquiry framework as way to describe a “worthwhile educational experience” for students. The framework involves three overlapping “presences” which help to describe the overall learning activities with which students and instructors must engage. The framework includes: social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence. Social presence in an online class helps to develop the affective dimensions of learning and foster interpersonal relationships between a student and their peers. Developing social presence helps a student feel more connected in online classes and more open to express their ideas and collaborate with their peers. Social presence helps to form a risk-free classroom where students can share their knowledge, experience and emotions and work together to build a cohesive learning community (Dikkers, Whiteside & Lewis, 2013). In their research examining social presence in online classes, Richardson and Swan (2003) found that students who felt more socially connected in their online classes had higher rates of satisfaction and perceived learning than students who did not.

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