• Peter Shea
  • Alexandra M. , Pickett
  • William E. Pelz




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.


Shea, P., Fredericksen, E., Pickett, A., and Pelz, W. A Preliminary Investigation of Teaching Presence in the SUNY Learning Network, Elements of Quality Online Education: Practice and Direction, Volume 4 in the Sloan-C series. Needham, MA: Sloan-C, 2003.

Bransford, J., Brown, A., Cocking, R., Donovan, M., and Pellegrino, J. W. How People Learn, National Academy Press, 2000.

Chickering, A. W., and Gamson, A. F. Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. Racine, WI: The Johnson Foundation, Inc/Wingspread, 1987.

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., and Archer W. Assessing Teaching Presence in a Computer Conferencing Context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2) (September 2001).

Shea, P., Fredericksen, E., Pickett, A., and Pelz, W. Measures of Learning Effectiveness in the SUNY Learning Network, Online Education: Learning Effectiveness, Faculty Satisfaction, and Cost Effectiveness, Needham, MA: SCOLE, 2001.

Shea, P., Pelz, W., Fredericksen, E., and Pickett, A. Online Teaching as a Catalyst for Classroom-based Instructional Transformation, Elements of Quality Online Education, Needham, MA: SCOLE, 2002.

Shea, P., Swan, K., Fredericksen, E., and Pickett, A. Student Satisfaction and Reported Learning in the SUNY Learning Network, Elements of Quality Online Education, Needham, MA: Sloan-C, 2002.

Kuh, G. The National Survey of Student Engagement: Conceptual Framework and Overview of Psychometric Properties 2001. http://www.indiana.edu/~nsse/acrobat/framework-2001.pdf.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T, and Archer, W. Critical Inquiry in a Text Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3): 1-19, 2000.

Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D. R., and Archer, W. Assessing Social Presence in Asynchronous Text-based Computer Conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 2001. http://cade.athabascau.ca/vol14.2/rourke_et_al.html.

Sheehan, K. Email Survey Response Rates: A Review. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 6(2), 2001.

Twigg, C. Expanding Access to Learning: The Role of Virtual Universities. Troy, NY: Center for Academic Transformation, 2003.

Johnson, D., Johnson, R., and Stanne, M. Methods of Cooperative Learning: What Can We Prove Works? Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Cooperative Learning Center, 2001.






Empirical Studies