OTL301 – Post 2

Current Practices

  1. My viewpoint as to the value of effective practice has shifted with additional reading on topic of teaching presence. Effective practices like encouraging questions, focusing and summarizing discussion and confirming understanding aid in establishing an effective teaching presence.
  2. Most of the effective practices that I described in previous Posts related to the facilitating discourse component of teaching presence. For the Open Learning courses at least, the design and administration, and the direct instruction categories of teaching presence are, to a degree, fixed by the course designers. Individual instructors have the most latitude to affect teaching presence when it comes to facilitating discourse and to a lesser degree, in direct instruction. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison and Archer (2001) also describe a fourth category of teaching presence – technical support. They recognized that this fourth category would evolve as proficiency with technology improves and that some of this support would be outside of the teaching role. But as we has seen in this course series, with the rise of social media, some of these “technical support” tasks have converged with expectations for instructors in facilitating discourse.
  3. Teaching presence as a concept has been positively related in the research to student  satisfaction. Research has also shown a relationship between the concept of teaching presence and the sense of community, especially in online learning environments. For the online instructor, a high level of teaching presence, if based upon effective practices, should contribute significantly to a better learning environment for students.