Enhancing Social Presence in Online CoursesJoni Dunlap (Joni.Dunlap@UCDenver.edu)School of Education and Human DevelopmentCenter for Faculty Development
“There is more than a verbal tiebetween the words common,community, and communication... Trythe experiment of communicating, withfullness and accuracy, someexperience to another, especially if itbe somewhat complicated, and youwill find your own attitude toward yourexperience changing.” ~ John Dewey
What is Social Presence? • How will I know my learners? And, how will they know me? • What happens to my personality? • How do I help learners stay connected, and not disappear? • How can I establish a supporting learning community?
• Let me tell you a story about a man named Jed...• A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...• In the olden days...• Once upon a time... Let’s see an example...
• I lived in Saudi Arabia as a youth• My first car was a white 1966 Barracuda with red leather interior• I have been a vegetarian for 25 years• I was a member of the road crew for the Grateful Dead from 1989-1991• I used to produce and direct on-air pledge drives for public television• I was held up at gun point and had my car stolen as the get-away vehicle
Social Network Presence • Thoughts on Teaching blog • Flickr photo sets; VoiceThread stories • Del.icio.us webliographies • MySpace, FaceBook • Breeze, podcasts, YouTube
Establishing Rules ofEngagement, Expectations • Using shell, wikis, Google Docs • Providing space for connection • Modeling “rules” • Illustrating relevance
• Three reasons why the author is dead wrong• All we need to know about teaching we can learn from skateboarders• Technology replaces teachers• Students just aren’t as dedicated as they used to be• Social interaction isn’t possible in self- paced online training
Two of my chief concerns about teachingonline have been...•Keeping students engaged and connectedwith the course and course activities, and•How much time it takes to keep studentsengaged and connected with the course andcourse activities.What is your number one concern aboutteaching online? What ideas do you have foraddressing the concerns shared by me(above) and shared by others in this forum?
The Final Post• Groups of 4-6• Each learner posts a quote from the text + 350 words• Group members respond with 250 words• Originator reacts to the responses (250 words)
The Last Word• Groups of 4-6• Each learner posts a quote from the text without commenting on the quote• Group members comment with 250 words• In 250 words, originator’s “last word” incorporates original interest with insights gleaned from reading the group members’ comments
Rotating Threads• Set up discussion forums, with a different provocative issue to discuss in each forum.• In groups of 4-5, have learners rotate to a new forum. Timing = e.g., Forum A on Monday, Forum B on Tuesday, and so on.• Each group records their ideas about the issue.• Once complete, learners revisit forums to see what other groups posted.