Faculty presence is a component of the online classroom that’s sometimes overlooked or underestimated by new online instructors, but it is often the most important determining factor for a student’s success and overall satisfaction in a course.
Instructor presence influences the ways that your students interact with the course content and how they interact with you. So, if you’re not there, why should they be?
One of the things I like to think about with my classes is how do I form a better learning community? That’s something that a lot of instructors do in a face-to-face classroom. But when it comes to online instruction it’s a little more challenging.
I’ve outlined below some opportunities for increasing faculty presence. These are moments during the class when you can reach out to students and demonstrate that you’re a real person who’s there for them. You’ll find opportunities before the course begins, at various checkpoints, during follow up and interventions, beyond the classroom, and as part of the course wrap-up.