Take Your Students Out of Solitary
Confinement: Strategies for
Increasing Social Presence in
University Online Courses
Kel...
Caveats
• Practitioner-focused
– Not addressing “why”
• See Community of Inquiry Model, Social Learning
Theory, Social Con...
social presence, the degree to which
one is perceived as a real person in a
mediated environment
Short, Williams, and Chri...
Course Design
v.
Instructor Behaviors
Provide Communication Protocols
• Examples include:
– How and when to use each venue (email, IM, etc.)
– Clearly calling o...
Create “Interaction” Assignments
• Introductory Interactions
• Low/no score
• Appropriate self-disclosure
• Connect to cou...
Design Authentic Learning
Assignments
• Practical, projects/tasks
• High challenge, low stress (Csikszentmihalyi, 1994)
• ...
Model Appropriate Self-Disclosure
• Share instructor bio at beginning of course
• Create a warm welcome message
• Drop tid...
Cultivate a Humane Tone
• Beware of written messages that “zap.”
• Express interest/concern.
• Consider audio.
• “Thanks f...
Respond Quickly to Messages from
Students
• Address turn-around time in syllabus
• Be consistent
• Notify students when yo...
Make Weekly Updates
• Text and audio (some students will use both)
• Brief (less than 2 pages or 10 minutes)
• Consider po...
Solicit Weekly Student Feedback
• Anonymous
• Ask what worked and what didn’t
• Include questions on “connectedness”
Respond To/Take Action on Student
Feedback
• Podcast
• Announcements
• Email All
Give General Feedback
• Podcast
• Announcements
• Discussion Forum
• Email All
Give Specific Student Feedback
• If large class, use scoring rubric with
highlightable written descriptions (See
http://ir...
Send Regular Content-Based Messages
• Course Email
• Announcements
• Twitter (embed widget in CMS)
• HootCourse.com
• Text...
Live in the Open
• Model participation in Personal/professional
Learning Network (PLN)
– Web 2.0 Tools
– Social Networking...
Caution
• Time commitment (beware of diminishing
returns)
• Some students resist (self-fulfilling false beliefs
about onli...
Wrap-Up/Conclusion
Cultivating Social Presence
Connectedness
Student Satisfaction
Follow Up
Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D.
kthompso@mail.ucf.edu
http://twitter.com/kthompso
http://bit.ly/thompson_elearn
Presentat...
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  • Thompson kelvin elearn 2010

    1. 1. Take Your Students Out of Solitary Confinement: Strategies for Increasing Social Presence in University Online Courses Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D. University of Central Florida
    2. 2. Caveats • Practitioner-focused – Not addressing “why” • See Community of Inquiry Model, Social Learning Theory, Social Constructivism, etc. • See E-Learn 2010 Proceedings for some good references – I don’t have this figured out. Work in progress. • Where – Course Management System (CMS)-based – Public or semi-public Web 2.0 tools
    3. 3. social presence, the degree to which one is perceived as a real person in a mediated environment Short, Williams, and Christie (1976) Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000)
    4. 4. Course Design v. Instructor Behaviors
    5. 5. Provide Communication Protocols • Examples include: – How and when to use each venue (email, IM, etc.) – Clearly calling one another by name in visible communications – Being specific about ideas to which one is responding – Encouraging appropriate use of phatic communication
    6. 6. Create “Interaction” Assignments • Introductory Interactions • Low/no score • Appropriate self-disclosure • Connect to course content • Instructor modeling (posting and responses) • Interaction Assignments • Clear prompt for response • Provide explicit scoring criteria based on desired behaviors - Require posting of student perspective - Require responses by classmates to student work - Address timing (to avoid “post and run” behavior)
    7. 7. Design Authentic Learning Assignments • Practical, projects/tasks • High challenge, low stress (Csikszentmihalyi, 1994) • Ideally, connect to student interests These: • Require personal investment by students • Are worthy of substantive feedback – Peer review (provide guidance and incentive) – Instructor
    8. 8. Model Appropriate Self-Disclosure • Share instructor bio at beginning of course • Create a warm welcome message • Drop tidbits of info in course communications
    9. 9. Cultivate a Humane Tone • Beware of written messages that “zap.” • Express interest/concern. • Consider audio. • “Thanks for asking, John.” • “If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.” • “I noticed…. Is there something going on about which I should be aware?”
    10. 10. Respond Quickly to Messages from Students • Address turn-around time in syllabus • Be consistent • Notify students when you’ll be unreachable
    11. 11. Make Weekly Updates • Text and audio (some students will use both) • Brief (less than 2 pages or 10 minutes) • Consider podcast tools (Box.net is useful) • “I felt like there was a real instructor there.”
    12. 12. Solicit Weekly Student Feedback • Anonymous • Ask what worked and what didn’t • Include questions on “connectedness”
    13. 13. Respond To/Take Action on Student Feedback • Podcast • Announcements • Email All
    14. 14. Give General Feedback • Podcast • Announcements • Discussion Forum • Email All
    15. 15. Give Specific Student Feedback • If large class, use scoring rubric with highlightable written descriptions (See http://irubric.com or “Grading Forms” in Blackboard’s WebCT Vista/CE) • Provide person-specific written feedback is possible • Include student name
    16. 16. Send Regular Content-Based Messages • Course Email • Announcements • Twitter (embed widget in CMS) • HootCourse.com • Text messaging (SendGM.com or other)
    17. 17. Live in the Open • Model participation in Personal/professional Learning Network (PLN) – Web 2.0 Tools – Social Networking/Media
    18. 18. Caution • Time commitment (beware of diminishing returns) • Some students resist (self-fulfilling false beliefs about online learning)
    19. 19. Wrap-Up/Conclusion Cultivating Social Presence Connectedness Student Satisfaction
    20. 20. Follow Up Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D. kthompso@mail.ucf.edu http://twitter.com/kthompso http://bit.ly/thompson_elearn Presentation & Examples/Supporting Materials (audio to follow)

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