A Follow-Up Study of the Indicators of Teaching Presence Critical to Students in Online Courses

A Follow-Up Study of the Indicators of Teaching Presence Critical to Students in Online Courses

Kathleen Sheridan (National Louis University, USA), Melissa A. Kelly (National Louis University, USA) and David T. Bentz (University of Oregon, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2110-7.ch005
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The purpose of the study presented in this chapter was to examine students’ perceptions of the importance of various indicators of teaching presence for their success in online courses. A cross-sectional survey design was used to identify the indicators that students perceived to be most important and to determine whether there were potential differences between graduate students and undergraduate students in terms of the students’ perceptions. Although the indicators that students rated as most important were similar for both groups of students, there were statistically significant differences for a few of the indicators. Students’ comments suggested additional indicators and provided insights about the importance of dispositions in online courses.
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When Garrison et al. (2000) initially conceptualized the CoI framework, they defined teaching presence as the domain that encourages active discourse and knowledge in the online learning environment. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison and Archer (2001) later codified the three core substructures of teaching presence as direct instruction, facilitating discourse, and instructional design and organization. These substructures were conceived and supported by prior research from Berge (1995), Paulsen (1995), and Mason (1991). Additional research by Shea, Pickett, and Pelz (2003) and Shea, Li, Swan, and Pickett (2005) helped researchers further refine and explore the constructs of teaching presence and classroom community using Rovai's (2002) work. All of these important works, as well as many other recent studies, have helped shape and refine the notion of teaching presence as it relates to the CoI framework and online learning environments.

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