The sense of instructor presence
in the online classroom
Loneliness not a problem on a virtual campus
One of the important features of virtual worlds (MUVEs) is that you meet other people, talk with them, work with them. We never wonder about sense of presence. This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
- Watch on YouTube
- Morgan's road by Torn MacAlester. An interview with the author
- Do you wonder about a sense of presence here?
The isolation problem with online classes
- Instructor presence in online courses (search)
- Creating a Sense of Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom
- Establishing an Online Teaching Presence
- Remote instruction on the flat web can be lonely.
- It is not just the teacher who is not there.
- Fellow students are also not there.
- Sure, you can have the teacher talking in a video.
- And you can type in questions--the teacher will answer in a few hours.
- But it is not like being on a college campus.
- On campus you interact with instructor and classmates in and out of class.
- On a flat web page you are alone, even if others are on the same page.
- See the MUVE solution below the break
- The Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) for MUVES (virtual worlds): Summary
The MUVE solution
- A virtual world (MUVE) has people. at least at scheduled meetings.
- You see them as avatars and hear them talk in their natural voices.
- You send them things from your inventory and they hand you things.
- They walk over to things they want to talk about and so do you.
- The experience can be much like a real classroom or other kind of meeting.
- The teacher has a recognizable avatar and a recognizable voice.
- If the teacher is active (saying or doing something), presence is obvious.
- To test presence in a virtual world, visit me on the web (scroll down).
But what if the teacher is inactive?
- In a flipped classroom, the teacher may be inactive unless intervention is needed.
- To keep the sense of presence, the teacher might want to be more active.
- That could be done unobtrusively by IMs or notecards to individual students.
- A teacher might develop a collection of notecards with useful suggestions.
- Influence the discussion without interrupting it.
- With project-based learning, the teacher can also ask for work products.
- If students are researching something, the teacher knows what they should be finding.
- Digicoach can ask for a list of, say, their ten best links.
- Digicoach can compare the list with the teacher's list and note differences.
- The teacher might act on important differences.
- Such actions engender a sense of presence and an effort to be helpful.
Visit me on the web
- Drop by my web offices Weekdays: 12:-12:30 pm Central time (US)
- I am available for free consulting on any topic in this blog.
- Cybalounge and 3DWebWorldz (Orientation room)
- I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
- Web-worlds, 3D virtual worlds running in a browser. Summary
- And we can visit the Writer's Workshop on the Web
- Don't register -- enter as guest.
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- Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
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- Annotated screenshots made with Jing
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- Selby Evans in Kitely and Hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.