These instructors need to learn to adapt to telecommunications media by developing interaction skills that create a sense of social presence. It is these skills and techniques, rather than the medium, that will ultimately impact students’ perception of interaction and social presence. (Gunawardena, 1995, p. 165)
As one of the elements of the Community of Inquiry (Garrison et al., 2000), the teaching presence is one of the most challenging aspects of online learning. Since online learning happens without students and teachers being in the classroom, the interaction between teachers and students in an online learning environment is limited. Consequently, teachers need to find solutions to support students’ learning effectiveness. A study by Kearney et al. (1985) indicated that teacher immediacy behaviours are one of the positive predictors of effective student learning (as cited in Gunawardena, 1995, p. 152). Besides responding to students’ questions in a brief time, teachers also need to give an engaging and friendly welcome and introduction at the beginning of each course to increase teacher presence.
In this week’s activity, I have created a short welcome video with Animaker. I focus more on personal introduction as I’m not teaching any subjects at this moment. It will be more like a general version of a welcome video. At the beginning of my technology integration project, I might use it to enhance instructor presence or adapt it with future course introduction by adding in more course information.
Animaker is as powerful as Powtoon. It provides many scenes and the character’s actions and expressions for use. It also allows different audio channels for background music and audio covers, which saves time for extra editing.
Here is my short welcome video:
From my perspective, other methods can also help enhance instructor presence. For instance, instructors could send weekly emails or posts to give instructions for next week’s study and summarize last week’s work course, including mentioning students’ most asked questions and giving additional feedback on the most challenging learning content. Hence, students would know what is coming next week and prepare themselves for it.
Do you have other suggestions for increasing teaching presence in online courses?
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2 (2-3), 87-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6
Gunawardena, C. (1995). Social presence theory and implications for interaction and collaborative learning in computer conferences. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1
(2-3), 147-166. Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/15156