What is instructor presence and how can I create it?


Creating a sense of presence in a fully online course requires different methods than in a face to face classroom. Online instructor presence can consist instructor actions such as of discussion posts, administrative instructions, correcting misperceptions, images (like an instructor photo or profile image), feedback on assignments.

When and how do I create an online presence?

Online presence in a learning situation might take different forms throughout the duration of the course. Establishing an online presence early in a course is important, as it invites learners into the community and helps set the tone and expectations for the rest of the course.

Tips for creating online presence

  • Consider using a short video or audio introduction at the beginning of the course.
  • If possible, hold virtual office hours. Technologies to facilitate this include video conferencing (e.g. Zoom), phone, and synchronous chat. Check out Zoom FAQ for more information on video conferencing.
  • Acknowledge student posts and contributions to the course community. This can be done in weekly posts that wrap up a discussion and provide a transition to the next week/activity.
  • Follow up with students you haven’t heard from recently.
  • Clearly indicate when you will be online and responding, and how quickly you will respond to student queries.
  • Create a ‘questions for [your name here]’ discussion forum as a space for general questions, check it and respond regularly.



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