Char will introduce herself and Kim. And our presentation is “I feel like I know you; The key to being present in the online classroom. We have used our real live students as models for this first slide. You can see how excited they are to be in the same room as Kim and I.
Kim: Talk about the objectives-What does it take for a student to feel like their instructor is present in the classroom? We will address the following objectives on your slide and we hope that we will be able to provide you with some key take aways about how create presence in the classroom whether it is online or in the classroom.
Char: Full online associate degree of applied science in health info management. We have cohorts for two years – enter 30 every Fall and Spring – about 175 at one time. Full and part time students . Local, out of state, and even overseas. Average age late 30s – second career field for most. Not everyone grew up using computers. We have three full time faculty and usually 6 adjuncts. We also teach medical terminology for all the allied health programs – also completely online – which runs about 180-200 additional students each quarter.
Kim: We are going to shift now to talking about what it means to having a presence in the online classroom. On the slide you see are the results of a survey we actually gave at TCC in winter quarter of 2012. There were 262 respondents. We have actually provided all the survey results for you in the handout. This snapshot though we felt was very important to pull out and set the tone for everything we are about to talk about. 66% of students, 173, said that having an instructor accessible in the online classroom is vital. We believe that an accessible instructor is the key to creating presence. How do you create presence in an online environment?
Char: You can see from the survey we gave you that an overwhelming majority of students said that written course announcements not only helped them in their learning, but made them feel like the instructor was present in the classroom.You probably don’t realize how much you talk in a face to face classroom. Out of a 50 minute period, many instructors talk for 49 minutes – okay maybe not really, but we talk a lot. And we don’t just talk in the form of lecture – we remind students of things or we clarify things. In the online environment we post a calendar and then we figure that students should just pay attention to that calendar. Well – most instructors I know who teach on campus also post a calendar, but that does not stop them from standing in front of the class and reminding students about tests or talking to them about areas that they have seen students have problems on in the past. They will also frequently do a “check in” asking students how they are doing, etc. In an online class there is nothing to stop you from doing this as well. As a matter of fact, you should do it MORE. You have to show the students that there is a human on the other side of the computer screen – that you care about them – that you are up to date on what is currently happening in the class. That they are not part of a correspondence program.Course announcements can be posted that talk about the class and the college. If there is a writing and tutoring center presentation going on then tell your students about it here – don’t assume that just because a college wide email went out that they are all up to date on everything. If you are not online yet then pay attention to all the things you say or do in the classroom (even tape yourself) – be purposeful in your daily activities online just like you would in a face to face environment.
Kim – One of the most surprising results from the survey was that students expected their faculty to respond to their questions via email. Seems like a simple thing to do but how many online instructors actually respond to email from their students in a timely manner? This was one of the top four results that made students feel their faculty were present in the classrooms. Answering emails from students in a timely manner made them feel like you were present!
Char: I have to say that this one actually took me by surprise. When we did our survey, nearly 60% of students said that discussion forums not only helped their learning, but a good majority also felt that it enhanced instructor presence. The reason I say that this surprised me is that discussion forums are one area that students are quick to complain about as well. Discussion forums are a double edged sword and you really have to be purposeful in them. They CANNOT appear to be course fillers – they have to really pertain to the course in order to get student buy in for them. Students can tell when you are giving them busy work and discussion forums often fall into this category. Discussion forums can take many different forms – there are group discussions, whole class discussions, Q&A discussions and then some instructors have open forums where non-class related items can be discussed.Group discussions generally take place when you split a class into smaller groups. Just like in a face to face classroom. If you want them to work well then having defined expectations is vital. I know it seems so prescriptive to have rules on how long you want discussion forums to be or how many responses need to be done, etc. We have done all sorts of forums from those with no rules to those with very specific requirements. Maybe it is because our program is one that is all about following rules, but our students do much better when they know the specific guidelines. There is no rule that every class HAS to have a discussion forum – they do not fit into every class. There is also no rule that if you have discussion forums that have to be done every week. Plan these out purposefully.Instructor Q&A is probably the most important discussion forum in the class. This is where students can communicate with you. Many instructors prefer this to email questions because then the whole class can benefit. The problem with these types of forums is that you have to stay on top of them and answer every little thing that is posted in there. This is vital for presence. Students need direction – they need your guidance – otherwise they would not need to be taking a course from you. Not only must you give these forums top priority, but when you give answers in them they should be complete, well thought out answers so that your students can really tell you care.
Kim narrated power points- Having a narrated PowerPoint made the student feel like the instructor was present. The student did not indicate that the PowerPoint had to be a certain length but merely having narrated PowerPoint's in the classroom created a sense of presence.
Char narrated weekly reviews
Kim - OrientationAlthough we are online we have found that it is necessary to have face to face interaction with our students. We do this by having students in our introductory courses come to campus one evening during the first week. For those that cannot attend because they live outside of the greater Puget Sound area we have the student attend virtually, we use a webcam and mic so that the student or students that attend virtually can see and hear us as well as the other students that are actually in the classroom. We also have our students attend an in person orientation the very last quarter before they go out to their Professional Practice Experience. The Professional Practice Experience is a class that the student completes at various clinical sites as the instructor I place students at these sites. I have found that meeting with the students in person before their PPE starts alleviates a lot of anxiety, it gives them the chance to ask questions, complete paperwork, and connect with other students that will be going out to the PPE sites.
Char: Place to ask questions on Assignments
Both of us use a variety of different software in the online classroom. Softchalk is our favorite software to use because it allows a lot of creativity in the online environment. We also ensure that many of our classes are moving towards “Quality Matters”. Quality Matters ensures that your classroom is set up to accommodate the various types of learning methodologies that students may have and by creating a class that meets the needs of a learners from a variety of different learning methods, such as having handouts for those that like to read, PowerPoint's for those that would rather listen, videos for the learners that are visual. Collaborate allows to create an online classroom ensuring that the student and instructor can communicate via an online classroom Collaborate allows us to communicate visually with our students and allows the students to communicate with each other as well. Tegrity allows us to reach students by combining PowerPoint's, pdf files, YouTube videos, and posting these in Tegrity in our online classrooms for the students to review. ScreenSteps allows us to create instructions for assignments that wallk the student through an assignment step by step.
Creating presence in the classroom used to look like this for us. And because of the efforts of our faculty to improve presence in the classroom by incorporating various types of software tools but more importantly by responding to questions when our students have them we have created this type of presence (next slide).
On this slide – our real life pictures and names, our students know us and we know them!
I Feel Like I Know You: The Key to Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom
Key take aways from this session:Key to being present in youronline classroom.Key strategies for creatingcourse content that buildsstudent and instructorrapport.Key tools that establishpresence in the classroom.
Health Information ManagementFuture Guardians of your Health Information
Instructor Accessibility is Vital to student success
Let students ask questionsChapter 2 homework assignment1. Give the anatomical name for the thigh bone_________2. Give the medical term for enlarged heart ____________3. What does the acronym NSAIDs stand for? ______________4. How many chambers are in the heart? _______________5. What is the root word meaning liver? _______________6. What are the bones of the fingers called? _____________7. Are there any questions/comments you wish to make about this assignment?
Online Office hours Synchronous class sessions Syllabus For assessment For instructionShow theInstructor How to screen recordings