Presence in the Online Classroom

I have several activities in my courses that fall into the three different levels of presence.

Cognitive Presence: I have several activities where students convey knowledge but the one activity that sticks out where they share knowledge with each other is with discussion posts. I typically post a hopefully thought provoking question that they have to think about and for an evidence based opinion and they are required to comment on at least two other classmates post, which I’m finding to be common. At least with my graduate students, this is going well and they really do their homework with their responses, obviously some better than others.

Teaching Presence:  Since this is really about me as the teacher being present in the course space, I accomplish this a few different ways. One is with an introduction post. Similar to what we have see with these EFOT courses, I have started a discussion board where I give a little information about myself and my background and throw in a few personal details about my kids or pets.

Social Presence:  I think this is best portrayed through my lectures. I use Voicethread as a voiceover tool with my powerpoint lectures. For my nutrition course, I have largely taken my traditional classroom based course and put it online. So, with these voiceovers I feel like I can let my typical lecture style come through in the online space, I can add a little humor, I rarely do retakes so they are getting the real deal as if I was in front of them, minus the questions I typically throw out in a live lecture, I now do this with built in study questions and I give them the answer on the next slide.



3 Replies to “Presence in the Online Classroom”

  1. I like the idea of using VoiceThread for voiceover with a PowerPoint lecture. But I don’t know how to do it. How do you synch them together?

    1. I would suggest “screencast-o-matic” for a voiceover of a powerpoint lecture. We learned about this in an earlier EFOT course and I’ve used it about 4 times since then for creating visual case studies, mini lectures on a concept etc. Its very easy to use and turns out a professional looking product. The feature in PowerPoint to do a voice over is not as professional, in my opinion. Im sure Stephanie can point your to screencast-o-matic” links and instructions.

      anotu t

  2. I also like Screen Cast-o-Matic, which has a 15 minute max, which does remind me to focus and keep it brief. A series of shorter, focused presentations is better than an 80 slide lecture, especially online. VoiceThread is really an oral discussion tool, excellent for case study-type activities. I have interwoven some content, but try to keep it student active. Presenting content via Screen Cast-O-Matic, then following with VT might be a good approach.

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