Week 1: Instructor Presence

Module Description

Students in higher education want to “connect” in the courses that they take. Enabling them to connect both academically and socially is critical to their success in the course and the program. They have a desire to connect with the content they are provided, connect with other students, and also establish a connection with their instructor. In this course we are learning about how to create these connections so that students feel like they have a true “presence” in our classes. This week we are specifically talking about Instructor Presence.

Establishing instructor presence is critical in an online class so that students do not feel isolated and alone. Imagine if an instructor didn’t show up to teach in a face-to-face class? What makes an instructor successful in an online classroom is no different than a face-to-face classroom. Your role as the lecturer or faculty is to help your students become more involved in the subject area and content, connect them with you (the professor), and other students.

In this module, learners will explore techniques for increasing their instructor presence in their online courses. Methods from experts in the industry have been curated to bring you the best advice. For example, one of the strategies presented this week is to engage our students with an instructor introduction video.


  • What are your thoughts about teaching online? Do you feel like the role of a online teacher is different than a face-to-face instructor?
  • Is teaching online different than teaching face-to-face? When students take an online class, what are some factors that may cause them to feel a lack of connection?
  • What steps can instructors take to increase their presence in an online course?

Module Objectives

  • Identify and apply humanizing techniques in your own online course.
  • Create an introduction video to use in your own online course.
  • Develop content that can be utilized in your own online courses to increase your social presence.

To-Do List

  • Read articles regarding the use of video to enhance presence.
  • Attend Google Hangout “Authentic Instructor Videos” with Dr. Chuck Severance – University of Michigan and Coursera Instructor: Python for Everybody.
  • Attend Google Hangout “Community of Inquiry Fundamentals” with Dr. Phil Ice – VP of Research and Development at American Public University System and co-creator of the Community of Inquiry Instrument.
  • Participate through blogging or twitter during live twitter chats during the Google Hangouts (hashtag #HumanMOOC).
  • Create an Instructor Introduction, participate in a conversation about using video to enhance instructor presence using VoiceThread, and participate in the FlipGrid Activity.

2 thoughts on “Week 1: Instructor Presence

  1. Reblogged this on What's Next? and commented:
    Part of the fun of this MOOC is trying new technologies… so I’m going to try and reblog this posting from our #HumanMOOC Week One Module.


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