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Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to "Be There" for Distance Learners

ISBN: 978-0-470-56490-5
160 pages
August 2010, Jossey-Bass
Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to "Be There" for Distance Learners (0470564903) cover image


How can faculty create a strong e presence for their online classes? This volume highlights the need for creating a presence in the online environment. The authors explore the emotional, psychological, and social aspects from both the instructor and student perspective. It provides an instructional design framework and shows how a strong presence contributes to effective teaching and learning. Filled with illustrative examples and based on research and experience, the book contains methods, case scenarios, and activities for creating, maintaining, and evaluating presence throughout the cycle of an online course.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Exhibits, and Tables v

Preface vii

About the Authors xiii

ONE The Role of Presence in the Online Environment 1

Why Is It Important to Understand Presence? 2

Creating a Sense of Presence 3

What We Know About Presence 4

Presence as the Result of Our Perceptual Process 6

Understanding Presence 7

Summary 12

TWO Ways in Which Presence Can Be Experienced 13

Types of Experience 15

Modes of Presence 18

Dimensions of the Learner 20

The Being There for the Online Learner Model 21

Summary 24

THREE Designing Your Online Course with a Sense of Presence 25

Determinants of Presence 26

Framework for Designing Online Courses with a Sense of Presence 30

Getting Yourself "There" for Your Online Course 37

Getting Your Learners “There” for Your Online Course 40

Summary 41

FOUR Activities That Create a Sense of Presence in Your Online Course 43

Before the Course Begins 45

During the Online Course 65

End of the Course 77

How to Know If Presence Is “There” in Your Online Course 84

Summary 93

FIVE Are You Here or There? Making Sense of Presence 95

Case 1. Getting to Know You and Your Course 95

Case 2. Second Life Participation and Blogging 99

Case 3. Creating a Web-Based Training Course as a Team 104

Creating a Syllabus with a Sense of Presence 109

Final Thoughts and Future Directions 109

Appendix 1: Training Resources 113

Appendix 2: Online Course Design Resources 115

Appendix 3: Sample Syllabus 117

Definitions of Terms 129

References 133

Index 137

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Author Information

Rosemary M. Lehman is a partner in eInterface with twenty years of experience at Instructional Communications Systems, University of Wisconsin-Extension where she was a distance education specialist and led the Learning Design and Outreach Team. She is coauthor of 147 Practical Tips for Synchronous and Blended Technology Teaching and Learning.

Simone C. O. Conceição is an associate professor in the School of Education, Department of Administrative Leadership, at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the editor of Teaching Strategies in the Online Environment from Jossey-Bass and coauthor of 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups: Essentials of Web-Based Education.

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