The increase in online course offerings and instruction in higher education, coupled with the continued rise of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses), means that it is now more imperative than ever for instructors to reflect on their digital teaching practices. This rise has caused faculty members to not only adapt their current teaching methods to online environments, but simultaneously address attrition: “one of the biggest challenges to distance education” (Dueber and Misanchuk, 2001). Although the responsibilities of an instructor can vary based on the nature and format of the course (i.e. face-to-face vs. blended learning), developing a sense of community is particularly integral for students learning in an online environment. Allowing participants to feel connected to their fellow students, teachers, and even the course content is central to student success. However, we as educators need to resist token expressions of online community-building (e.g. using learning management systems like Sakai ‘passively’ rather than ‘actively’) and commit to being present for our students. In this workshop, participants will learn new ways to foster a sense of community in their online platforms and courses, while investigating how the creation of an online teaching presence can further engage participants.
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"Your Presence is a Present: Fostering Community in LMS, Blended, and Online Environments,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 5
, Article 1.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol5/iss1/1