Establishing Presence

Research on the community of inquiry has shown that teaching, cognitive, and social presences are important in the online classroom. Teaching presence involves the design, facilitation, and direction of content and activities to encourage discussion. Cognitive presence helps learners to discuss and reflect in order to construct and refine meaning. Finally, social presence helps instructors and students to develop trust and see each other as “real” people in an online environment.

Why Remote Workers Are More (Yes, More) Engaged

Posted on November 1, 2012 by Tawnya Means

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review discusses why remote workers are more engaged… Many of the comments are also relevant for remote learners… here are my interpretations on how this relates to learning online:

Proximity breeds complacency. Distance requires students in teams to not take communication for granted. When instructors and students know that they will not be in the same room together, they may make more efforts to communicate effectively.

Absence makes people try harder to connect. Students in teams that are spread out make more of a conscious effort to communicate. Instructors who realize this also might make a more concerted effort to reach out individually to students to help them feel connected to the course.

[Instructors and students] make better use of tools. The use of tools required to communicate and get the work of teaching and learning done in a course tends to develop proficiency in using technology for both instructors and students.

[Instructors and students] maximize the time [they] spend together. As instructors and team members consider the time that they will spend in synchronous or face-to-face time, they will make better use of that time than if they were meeting together on a regular basis.