Course management strategies for first time online instructors

Regina Biggs

Session Information

Year: 2016 | Time: 4:15pm-5:45pm (Poster Session) | Location: (Fenwick 2nd Floor) Poster Session


The presentation examines the practice of teacher presence from students’ perspectives.  It is based upon a comparison of student feedback from the first and second fully online deliveries of a required course entitled, Education Law.  While a review of the literature reveals that teacher presence is created through degrees of active engagement, instructors new to online teaching may misinterpret learners’ perceptions of what constitutes an acceptable degree of presence. Student feedback, from the first delivery, suggested the expectation for teacher presence was higher because the course design featured a number of collaborative, project based learning activities. Instructional planning that gives balanced attention to content mastery and course management by reframing the functions of the instructor’s role will assure that learners’ enthusiasm and engagement are not casualties of the context. A review of the course evaluations from the Summer 2015 semester revealed that an intentional contemplation of communication variables including timing, interpersonal and inter-group messaging must be purposefully planned to minimize the potential for confusion.  This suggests changes for the Summer 2016 semester, including the use of proactive course management strategies to increase student satisfaction, facilitate the display of metacognition, and extend creative problem solving skills to authentic applications.  Faculty will learn about how the initiation of these changes in course management impact students’ perceptions of teacher presence.


online learning; teacher presence; student engagement


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