Online Learning Update

December 27, 2010

The Indicators of Instructor Presence that are Important to Students in Online Learning Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

by Kathleen Sheridan & Melissa A. Kelly,  Merlot JOLT

While many researchers have sought to identify the components of teaching presence and examine its role in student learning, there are far fewer studies that have investigated which components students value the most in terms of their perceived contribution to a successful or satisfying learning experience. The research presented in this paper addressed this issue by examining which indicators of instructor presence were most important to students in online courses and how those indicators were interrelated. The indicators that were most important to students dealt with making course requirements clear and being responsive to students’ needs. Students also valued the timeliness of information and instructor feedback. While students generally placed high value on communication and instructor’s responsiveness, they did not place as much importance on synchronous or face-to-face communication. Nor did they consider being able to see or hear the instructor as very important. Among the implications of the findings is the need to pay particular attention to the communicative aspects of instructor presence.

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