Teacher Presence

Teacher Presence

Caroline M. Crawford (University of Houston – Clear Lake, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch689
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Abstract

Teacher presence refers to the fully engaged instructional facilitator within a learning environment. Within this specific discussion of teacher presence, the focus is upon distributed learning environments that includes not only online learning environments but also mobile learning engagement efforts. Teacher presence engages not merely an instructional design and evaluative assessment effort, but integrally engages the learners within the instructional environment through discourse, reflective practices and supporting the motivational needs of the learner. Further, teacher presence directly impacts the motivational and cognitive support needs of learners, through instructionally appropriate actions of the instructor as a facilitative guide, as a self-regulatory maven, within a cognitive load support system, as well as mentor-focused instructional efforts.
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Background

Within the bounds of a discussion related to the concept of teacher presence within an instructional environment, there has been intriguing work revolving around the concept of the teacher’s impact upon the instructional environment for decades. Of interest is the distinct engagement within this subject during the 1980s and again arising in the later 1990s due to the introduction of instructional technologies and distributed learning environments into the instructional environment. A discussion revolving around understandings related to teacher presence and subsequent impacts upon the instructional environment are addressed. Secifically, focusing upon the subjects of discourse, reflective practices, and motivational needs of the learner.

Towards supporting this understanding, Ladyshewsky (2013) engaged in the impact of the instructor’s presence upon the learner satisfaction, and is in strong company with current instructor presence engagement in online courses (Bowers & Kumar, 2015; Hodges & Cowan, 2012; Lowenthal, 2009; Sheridan & Kelly, 2010) and associated multimedia-based efforts towards the suggestion of instructor presence (Young, Hicks, Villa-Lobos & Franklin, 2014), as well as professional associations’ efforts towards supporting the engagement of teachers within online learning environments (NEA, n. d.). The teacher presence efforts and associated student perceptions surrounding teacher presence are currently intriguing and worthy of further consideration.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cognition: The way that people think, work with and understand information.

Mentor: A guiding force, meant to support the needs of an apprentice.

Presence: Engagement within the environment, engagement with the subject matter, and availability for the learner.

Discourse: Discussions within a social environment, towards more fully understanding the knowledge, towards checking and double-checking one’s understanding of information within a social context.

Motivation: The desire to move forward, to engage more fully.

Reflective Practice: The ability of a person, specifically an instructor, to analyze their actions and understandings within an instructional environment.

Self-Regulation: The ability to control one’s actions and reactions.

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