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Improving Student Experience through Instructor Presence


Stephanie Tweed, Ed.D, Instructional Design Coordinator, Academic Technology Services


The Academic Technology Services office at East Tennessee State University works with instructors on ways to improve the quality of online courses by implementing best practices in online teaching and instructional design. A key component to a quality online course is instructor presence. Creating an instructor presence in an online course can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Incorporating weekly news items, robust discussions, innovative projects, and even recorded mini lectures that are targeted specifically for an online audience and chunked into manageable pieces can all be hugely beneficial in the facilitation of instructor presence. When instructors are present in courses, this creates a sense of community between students in the course and the instructor as the content area expert. Students who feel they are part of an online community tend to be more engaged and motivated successfully complete courses, and eventually, programs of study.

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