While you focus on building your online course, keep in mind how you will be “present” in your online course. How will students feel that you are “there” in the course? Creating a sense of instructor presence is an important aspect to student satisfaction in online courses.So what are some ways to be “present” and visible to students?
Faculty Initiated Interaction
- Send a weekly email to students. Consider it your “housekeeping” message to students at the beginning of class. Include:
- Overall feedback to the class on the previous week
- A teaser to hook them into the next week’s content
- Updates on grading
- A suggested schedule to help students organize their work for the week
- Be present in the discussion forum. Don’t overpower, but let students know you are there.
- 5-4-3-2-1: Countdown to Course Management (see pages 2,8): Tips for how often to interact with students in various ways in your online course.
- Live interactive sessions and video lectures also increase your presence in the course.
- Be yourself! Use humor, self-disclosure, and personal interaction to help students feel that you are human and really “there” in the class.
Another crucial and often overlooked area of presence and teaching in an online course is feedback.
- Seven Keys to Effective Feedback
- Consider if students understand feedback and know how what to do next
- Make sure students know how to find your feedback in the learning management system
- Use tools to improve the efficiency of your feedback
- Quick Feedback, Engaged Students
Talk to your Instructional Facilitator for more ideas or assistance with applying these ideas to your course. Find these tips and more online in the Online Course Development Support Site.
The contribution that effective feedback makes to the learning experience cannot be overstated! Learning, real learning, is much more likely to occur at a level that will be long-lasting when the feedback is not only filled with factual information on how to improve but also flowing with the care and concern of the facilitator.