Instructor Social Presence and Connectedness in a Quick Shift from Face-to-Face to Online Instruction

Sheri Conklin, Amy Garrett Dikkers

Abstract


During the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, instructors at a southeastern university had one week to convert their current face-to-face courses to an online format, under a time frame that did not allow for a “well-designed” online course. The current study investigates how some instructors were able to maintain social presence in the transition to the online environment, and the instructional practices they used to support those continued connections. In a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate and graduate students (N = 432 ) conducted during the last week of the Spring 2020 semester, we asked students to focus on a class that was successful in keeping them in touch with their instructor, content, and peers. Analyses of the data revealed four major themes: connectedness, instructor responsiveness and coaching, online learning best practices such as chunking materials, and empathic facilitation. 


Keywords


Instructor Social Presence, connectedness, social presence, online learning, remote teaching

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abdous, M. H. (2019). Influence of satisfaction and preparedness on online students' feelings of anxiety. The Internet and Higher Education, 41, 34-44.

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2008). The development of a community of inquiry over time in an online course: Understanding the progression and integration of social, cognitive and teaching presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 12, 3-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v12i3.66

Akyol, Z., Garrison, D. R., & Ozden, M. Y. (2009). Online and blended communities of inquiry: Exploring the developmental and perceptual differences. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(6), 65-83.

Anderson, T., Liam, R., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v5i2.1875

Benbunan-Fich, R., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2006). Separating the effects of knowledge construction and group collaboration in learning outcomes of web-based courses. Information & Management, 43(6), 778-793.

Berge, Z. (2008). Changing instructor’s roles in virtual worlds. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 9(4), 407-415. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/106706

Borup, J., West, R. E., Thomas, R. A., & Graham, C. R. (2014). Examining the impact of video feedback on instructor social presence in blended courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15(3), 232-256. http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v15i3.1821

Brook, C., & Oliver, R. (2007). Exploring the influence of instructor actions on community development in online settings. In User-centered design of online learning communities (pp. 341-364). IGI Global. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-59904-358-6.ch015

Creasey, G., Jarvis, P., & Knapcik, E. (2009). A measure to assess student-instructor relationships. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 3(2), n2. http://dx.doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2009.030214

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Sage.

Eskey, M.T., & Schulte, M. (2010). What online college students say about online instructors and what do online faculty members say about online instructions: A comparison of attitudes. Journal of Online Education, 1-20.

Hodges, C.B., & Cowan, S. F. (2012). Preservice teachers’ views of instructor presence in online courses. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 28(4), 139-145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21532974.2012.10784694

Garrison, D. R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Taylor & Francis.

Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2013). The community of inquiry theoretical framework. Handbook of distance education, 3, 104-120.

Garrison, D. R., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2007.04.001

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 7-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923640109527071

Ice, P., Curtis, R., Phillips, P., & Wells, J. (2007). Using asynchronous audio feedback to enhance teaching presence and students' sense of community. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(2), 3-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v11i2.1724

Kassinger, F. D. (2004). Examination of the relationship between instructor presence and the learning experience in an asynchronous online environment (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-12232004-230634/unrestricted/Kassingeretd.pdf

Kim, K. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). The future of online teaching and learning in higher education. Educause Quarterly, 29(4), 22-30.

King, S. B. (2014). Graduate student perceptions of the use of online course tools to support engagement. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(1). http:doi.org/10/20429/ijsotl.2014.080105

Mandernach, B. J., Gonzales, R. M., & Garrett, A. L. (2006). An examination of online instructor presence via threaded discussion participation. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2(4), 248-260.

Martin, F., Wang, C., & Sadaf, A. (2018). Student perception of helpfulness of facilitation strategies that enhance instructor presence, connectedness, engagement and learning in online courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 37, 52-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2018.01.003

Martin, F., Wang, C., & Sadaf, A. (2020). Facilitation Matters: Instructor Perception of Helpfulness of Facilitation Strategies in Online Courses. Online Learning, 24(1), 28-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i1.1980

Palloff, R. M. & Pratt, K. (2003). The virtual student. A profile and guide to working with online learners. Jossey-Bass.

Richardson, J., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students' perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, (7)1,68-88.

Sammons, M. (2003). Exploring the new conception of teaching and learning in distance education. Handbook of Distance Education, 387-397.

Sedgwick, P. (2014). Cross sectional studies: Advantages and disadvantages. BMJ, 348, g. 2276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2276

Shea, P., Li, C. S., & Pickett, A. (2006). A study of teaching presence and student sense of learning community in fully online and web-enhanced college courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 9(3), 175-190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2006.06.005

Sheridan, K., & Kelly, M.A. (2010). The indicators of instructor presence that are important to students in online courses. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(4), 767-779.

Skramstad, E., Schlosser, C., & Orellana, A. (2012). Teaching presence and communication timeliness in asynchronous online courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(3), 183.

Smith, G. G., Ferguson, D., & Caris, M. (2002). Teaching on-line versus face-to-face. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 30(4), 337-364. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/FFWX-TJJE-5AFQ-GMFT

Swan, K. (2002). Building learning communities in online course: The importance of interaction. Education, Communication, and Information, 2(1), 23-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1463631022000005016

Swan, K., & Shih, L. F. (2005). On the nature and development of social presence in online course discussions. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(3), 115-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v9i3.1788

Whiteside, A. L. (2015). Introducing the Social Presence Model to explore online and blended learning experiences. Online Learning, 19(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v19i2.453

Whiteside, A. L. (2017). Understanding social presence as a critical literacy: Introduction to part four. In A. L. Whiteside, A. Garrett Dikkers, & K. Swan (Eds.) Social presence in online learning: Multiple perspectives on research and practice (pp. 133-142). Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Whiteside, A. L., Garrett Dikkers, A., & Lewis, S. (2017). Overcoming isolation online: Strategies to enhance social presence in practice. In A. L. Whiteside, A. Garrett Dikkers, & K. Swan (Eds.) Social presence in online learning: Multiple perspectives on research and practice (pp. 180-187). Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Wise, A., Chang, J., Duffy, T., & del Valle, R. (2004). The effects of teacher social presence on student satisfaction, engagement, and learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 31(3), 247-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/V0LB-1M37-RNR8-Y2U1




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v25i1.2482



Copyright (c) 2021 Sheri Conklin, Amy Garrett Dikkers

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/