Creating Teacher Presence in an Online Class

One of the biggest indicators of a student’s
success in an online class is the student’s teacher. When you create a presence for yourself in
your course, you’re helping to support your student’s success. One of the things you can do in your online
classes is to put photos or avatars of yourself in your class on the main page. Some teachers aren’t comfortable doing this,
so you don’t have to use a picture of yourself or even a video, but it’s one thing you could
do to help. Another thing you’ll want to do is to add
contact information to your class. Things like your name, email address, phone
number and office hours really go a long way to help your students feel supported. One thing you might want to share with your
students is your connection to that particular subject area. Why are you interested in the topic, what
led you to teaching in that particular area and what is it about the class that you really
like. The other thing you’ll want to do is to provide
plenty of opportunities for discussion. This means including things like chats, forums
and opportunities where students can collaborate together and feel like they’re a part of an
online community. Another thing to support your students is
support links. Not just offering them assistance but providing them links to places where they
can get help. This might be links to things like tutorials
for Google Docs, YouTube or Prezi. Somewhere where they feel like they can get help, even
if they can’t get immediate access to the teacher. Some of the things you might want to try if
you haven’t check them out are YouTube, Blabberize and Xtranormal. These are all resources that
you can use to create things like webcam videos, interesting and funny pictures of yourself
or avatars; or have welcoming introductory videos to your class or new content. Consider how you might be able to increase
your presence in your class to support your student’s success.

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