A FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATION OF “TEACHING PRESENCE” IN THE SUNY LEARNING NETWORK
Keywords:Online Learning, Models, Learning-Centered, Assessment-Centered, Knowledge-Centered, Principles Of Good Practice, Teaching Presence, Social Presence, Cognitive Presence, Community, Student Satisfaction, Faculty Satisfaction, Learning Effectiveness
This paper is a follow-up study to a preliminary investigation of teaching presence in the State University of New York Learning Network (SLN). In the present studywe review ongoing issues of pedagogy and faculty development, and their relationship to student satisfaction, and reported learning in SLN. We provide an overview of the SLN program,and summarize a conceptual framework for our current research on higher education, online learning environments. This framework integrates research on how people learn, with principles of good practice in higher education and recent research on learning in asynchronous learning networks (ALNs) in higher education. We also present resultsof a follow-up study on one aspect of the model, “Teaching Presence”.
The SUNY Learning Network is a proud recipient of two Sloan-C Awards, the 2001 Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Development and the 2002 Award for Excellence in ALN Programming. We believe that it is no coincidence that SLN was recognized in this order; that is to say, we feel our efforts to create a systematic faculty development program has allowed us to create an outstanding program of online courses and degrees. A clear vision regarding the prerequisites for a high quality online learning environment, especially prerequisites related to faculty development, is essential to building effective ALN programs. As this special edition of JALN is dedicated to such efforts we would like to focus on our model for learning environments design and share results of research on specific aspects of the model. In past studies we have argued that student-faculty and student-student interaction are among the variables most strongly correlated with student satisfaction and reported learning. In the present study, we focus on one aspect of our model for online learning environments and examine interaction more deeply. Building upon the work of Anderson and colleagues we examine the kinds of activities that comprise and sustain productive interaction. These researchers have categorized interactions that occur in asynchronous learning environments that encourage knowledge creation and identify online behaviors and processes that approximate (and may improve upon) those that occur in face-to-face settings. We look at a key element of their work, “teaching presence,” and present results of a follow-up
study examining students’ perceptions of this constellation of online faculty behaviors. We also identify the components of teaching presence that correlate most highly with student satisfaction and reported learning.
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