What’s in Your Tool Box? Tools to Optimize Social Presence and Student Engagement in an eLearning Environment
Concurrent Session 1
Instructors must break down barriers to student learning and engagement in elearning environments. Tools for building effective social presence in instruction will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to share challenges in design and instruction of a course. Facilitators will workshop with participants to ensure that all leave the session with a fuller toolbox.
Strong teaching presence in an online classroom can benefit and strengthen the connections to fellow learners and to the learning content. Though there is much emphasis on content, and rightfully so, the effectiveness and effort of instruction can significantly impact the achievement and success of elearning students (Shea, Vickers, & Hayes, 2010). Mohr and Shelton (2017) identified management, organization, and planning as being best practices for professional development of online instructors. Effective application of instructional and organization tools can aid instructors with time on task and effective time management giving the educator more time to devote to social and cognitive components in the classroom. Furthermore, these tools can also aid instructors with time and workload management associated with online teaching (Wingo, Ivankova, & Moss, 2017; Kebritchi, Lipschuetz, & Santiague, 2017). In this presentation, the facilitators will engage participants in exploration of tools and strategies to increase instructional efficacy and promote social presence and student engagement in elearning environments.
Social and cognitive presences which, along with teaching presence, create the basis for the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry which guides practitioners in their creation and application of methods and tools that can support student learning and add to the opportunities students have for deeper engagement in the course, increased academic success, and continued persistence in their education (Arbaugh, Cleveland-Innes, Diaz, Garrison, Ice, Richardson, & Swan, 2009).
Teaching presence is the design, facilitation, and direction laid out for the cognitive and social presences to create a navigational map for a learner. The instructional elements of the teaching presence must connect the student meaningfully to learning outcomes. Activities within the course, the framework of the discussion and flow of facilitation, as well as contact with students through direction instruction, focusing and resolving issues, complete the presence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). Through advanced planning and organization, and active utilization in real time, instructional faculty can operationalize tools and strategies to expand the positive impact of teaching presence.
Social presence, how an individual connects with and perceives the online environment, is important for learning and engagement (Richardson, Maeda, Lv, & Caskurlu, 2017; Irwin & Berge, 2006; Richardson & Swan, 2003). This factor in student engagement and academic achievement is increased by the perception of those in the classroom being real people. Instructors must break down barriers and connect on the personal level as well as model such behaviors for others in the environment to emulate.
Social presence can be increased via the use of multimedia in the elearning environment (Lu, 2017). But, the integration of multimedia tools may be perceived as a burden that increases workload and demands on instructor time (Kibritchi et al., 2017). However, application of these tools and strategies can also increase instructional efficacy with multimedia integration. Futhermore, Singh and Hurley (2017) identified lack of planning as a major barrier to effective teaching and learning within online classrooms. Indicating that the use of more organizational tools would benefit elearners.
Tools and strategies for the design of and delivery of instruction through interactions and engagement will be presented and discussed as part of the presentation. Participants in the session will be encouraged to share challenges and barriers to creating effective practices in the building of, prepping for, and teaching in a training program or course. The facilitators will workshop with participants to have them leave the session with a fuller tool box for the optimization and advancement of student learning and engagement.
Arbaugh, J. B., Cleveland-Innes, M., Diaz, S. R., Garrison, R. D., Ice, P., Richardson, J. C., and Swan, K. P. (2009). Developing a community of inquiry instrument: Testing a measure of the community of inquiry framework using a multi-institutional sample. Internet and Higher Education, 11(3/4), 133-136.
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. Retrieved from http://cde.athabascau.ca/coi_site/documents/Garrison_Anderson_Archer_Critical_Inquiry_model.pdf
Irwin, C., & Berge, Z. (2006). Socialization in the online classroom. E-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, 9(1).
Kebritchi, M., Lipschuetz, A., & Santiague, L. (2017). Issues and Challenges for Teaching Successful Online Courses in Higher Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 46(1), 4-29. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0047239516661713
Lu, H. J. (2017). Sustainability of e-Learning Environment: Can Social Presence Be Enhanced by Multimedia? International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 7(4), 291. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hwangji_Lu/publication/301483515_Sustainability_of_e-Learning_Environment_Can_Social_Presence_Be_Enhanced_by_Multimedia/links/58736e5f08ae6eb871c583f9/Sustainability-of-e-Learning-Environment-Can-Social-Presence-Be-Enhanced-by-Multimedia.pdf
Mohr, S. C., & Shelton, K. (2017). Best Practices Framework for Online Faculty Professional Development: A Delphi Study. Online Learning, 21(4).
Richardson, J. C., Maeda, Y., Lv, J., & Caskurlu, S. (2017). Social presence in relation to students’ satisfaction and learning in the online environment: A meta-analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 402-417. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.02.001
Richardson, J., & Swan, K. (2003). An examination of social presence in online courses in relation to students' perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 7(1). Retrieved https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/18713
Shea, P., Vickers, J. & Hayes, S. (2010). Online instructional effort measured through the lens of Teaching presence in the Community of Inquiry Framework: A re-examination of measures and approach. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(3). Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ913864.pdf
Singh, R. N., & Hurley, D. (2017). The effectiveness of teaching and learning process in online education as perceived by university faculty and instructional technology professionals. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 6(1), 65-75.
Wingo, N. P., Ivankova, N. V., & Moss, J. A. (2017). Faculty Perceptions about Teaching Online: Exploring the Literature Using the Technology Acceptance Model as an Organizing Framework. Online Learning, 21(1), 15-35. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1140242.pdf