Teaching presence in online courses: The role of instructor-created video

The concept of teaching presence in online course environments originated from the Community of Inquiry framework of online and blended teaching, developed by Randy Garrison, Terry Anderson and Walter Archer from the University of Alberta Canada.  They define teaching presence as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001).  While there are many elements supporting teaching presence, faculty are often interested in the impact of instructor-created videos on student learning.

Garrison's teaching presence

The effectiveness of video in supporting learning depends on a wide range of factors, but some broad guidelines can be helpful. For example, using video for whole-class feedback or guidance created specifically for one particular class or learning activity might be more impactful and less time-consuming to create than pre-scripted, canned videos. You may be curious as to the impact of your recorded visual presence within videos you create. In this video, the presenter reviews some research regarding the impact of having an instructor’s face in the video itself, as well as some general guidelines on the use of video.

In general with regards to instructor-created videos, we advise you to:

  • Focus on a specific assignment, on a challenging concept, or for a course or weekly overview
  • Use video for feedback or other facilitation
  • Use short clips or chunk into short clips (4-5 minutes)
  • Choose visuals that support the spoken narrative
  • Avoid using a talking head as the only visual
  • Do not be overly concerned about verbal mistakes
  • If you are creating videos to be used for multiple classes, consider how much time this may take and focus on issues or topics that are durable across longer periods (years) so that you can reuse the resource.

Additional resources on teaching presence:
Role of course design on teaching presence
One instructor’s point of view (research study)
Strategies for teaching presence

Getting Ready for the Fall

It’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down and the first day of Fall classes is approaching… too fast. We’ve gathered together some past posts and links to tutorials to make your prep easier and your myLesley course awesome.

Getting Your Content into Your Fall Course
The first step is to get your content into your upcoming myLesley course site. If you’ve taught the course before using myLesley, there’s no reason to recreate all that content from scratch. Just copy it. Review the directions for copying myLesley courses or request a course copy from eLIS.  

Once your content has been copied over, you will need to make a few updates for the current semester, such as updating your syllabus and updating all those dates. You can easily update your syllabus and all the links to it throughout the course in one easy step. Review Updating Your Syllabus in myLesley to learn how.

Did you use the calendar tool, release dates, or due dates in your myLesley course? Think going through and manually updating them all is going to be a major task? Think again. Use the Date Management tool and update them all on one page.

Check out Adding Content to Your myLesley Course to update or create new content items.

 

Communicating with Your Students
Now that your course content is ready go, it’s time to welcome your students. If you use Announcements or the Send Email tool in myLesley, you don’t even need to know their email addresses. Communicate with everyone in the course at once.

Take the normal text announcement or email up a notch and post a video announcement to introduce yourself and the course. Kaltura Media is built right into the text editor and will allow you to quickly and easily record a video message to your students using your webcam.

 

A Few Tips
To help you get ready for the upcoming semester, we have a few tips from our instructional designers on what to do before your course begins, the first week of your online course, and how to manage those busy online discussions.

Don’t forget about our support site at support.lesley.edu. We have a slew of tutorials and information from both eLIS and IT. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, submit a ticket and someone will follow up to help.

Have a great semester.

Sounds Good: Quicker, better assessment using audio feedback

“Sounds Good: Quicker, Better assessment Using Audio Feedback” is based at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.

From the website:

“Originally intended as a six-month pilot project, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), we started with a team of about 15 teachers in a range of disciplines exploring the use of digital audio to give feedback on students’ coursework. Could it save staff time? Would the feedback to students be improved?”

The website includes a blog, podcast updates and a useful downloads section with advice on using audio for feedback, sample assignments and audio samples of feedback.

Learning Team Charter

(Click on image to open PDF version )

Author:  This form based on example from Seton Hall University featured in: Ubell, Robert, ed. Virtual Teamwork: The Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration. Hoboken: NJ, 2010.

Description: The purpose of this charter is to establish team ground rules and methods of conflict management. Please click here to access the Word form version of this document.