Handbook for Building Instructor Presence

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This course introduction/front page shows what information should be provided about each mini-course. This is only an example. Feel free to modify/adapt as you'd like. I want our mini-courses to be creative, instead of only uniformed.

Overview and Purpose

This section provides the learner with an inviting and engaging introduction to the topic of your mini-course, specifies the target learner, and gives an overview of how this course works. The importance of the topic may be demonstrated through problem scenarios, storytelling, case analysis, statistics, etc.

Feel free to name and organize this section (and other sections) in a way that is most effective for your mini-course. For example, designers from the past sometimes set this section into two parts: Introduction, Course Overview (How This Course Works).

Needs Assessment

Briefly summarize what you found out from your needs assessment regarding the learners' gaps of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that your mini-course means to address.

Performance Objectives

State the course-level objectives here. Sometimes, when the course objectives actually map onto the unit objectives, it is fine to combine the objectives with the following unit structure to state the objective(s) of each unit.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: xxx

Brief overview

Unit 2: xxx

Brief Overview

Unit 3: xxx

Brief Overview ...

something about the pic

To place the above picture, first I uploaded it using the Upload file button in left pane. Then in Edit on this page I typed File:thenameofmypicture.jpg in double brackets. For the advanced features I added after jpg the following

|thumb - puts the image in a frame and allows me to add a width for my image

|300px - using any number sets the width of the image

|left - or right sets the alignment and allows text to wrap around the other side

|any text - place after the final pipe will be added as a caption to the image

The video for adding images can be found on youtube here.

Extended Resources


Handbook for Building Instructor Presence: A mini-course for instructors


A key component of Community of Inquiry Model is Teacher Presence. Teacher presence is the binding ingredient in establishing both social and cognitive presence, as well as, a community of learners in an online learning environment. Broadly speaking, the teacher builds presence through course design and management, building student understanding and providing instruction in the course (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). For the purpose of this course, I will refer to teacher presence as instructor presence, as the term instructor is more commonly used in the context of a Higher Education learning environment.

Specifically, some examples of ways that instructors establish online presence include interacting with the course and students consistently, communicating course goals, providing clear and consistent feedback to students, moderating discussions effectively, providing encouragement for student participation and acknowledging it when it occurs, and, as the subject matter expert, contributing expertise through discussion (Arbaugh & Hwang, 2006). The development of an instructor’s online presence influences students’ “sense of connectedness and learning” (Shea, Li, & Pickett, 2006, p. 177).

Another way to describe students’ connectedness is students feeling a sense of community in the classroom. This sense of community can be described as students feeling as though they belong, that they can count on one another, and that their “educational needs will be met through their commitment to shared learning goals” (McMillan & Chavis, 1986; Sarason, 1974; Unger & Wandesman, 1985; as cited in Rovai, 2002, p. 322).

The purpose of this course is to familiarize participants with the concept of instructor presence, and all that it encompasses including its impact on the development of community in an online classroom. Additionally, this course explores the intersection of humanizing an online course and the development of instructor presence in an online course. Finally, participants will become fluent in the steps they can take to develop instructor presence in an online course.


Arbaugh, J.B. & Hwang, A. (2006). Does “teaching presence” exist in online MBA courses? Internet and Higher Education, 9, 9-21.

Bolliger, D.U. & Martin, F. (2018). Instructor and student perceptions of online student engagement strategies. Distance Education, 39(4), 568-583.

Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Krislov, M. (2019, September 25). The importance of presence offline and online in higher education. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/marvinkrislov/2019/09/25/the-importance-of-presence-offline-and-online-in-higher-education/#2e7456482329

Oyarzun, B., Barreto, D., & Conklin, S. (2018). Instructor social presence effects on learner social presence, achievement, and satisfaction. TechTrends, 62, 625-634.

Rovai, A.P. (2002). Sense of community, perceived cognitive learning, and persistence in asynchronous learning networks. The Internet and Higher Education, 5, 319-332.

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, 175-190.