Teaching Presence in Online Education.

Most often the topic of creating any type of presence in online education is viewed from the student perspective (Oztok & Brett, 2011). This research examines the creation of teaching presence from the vantage point of the instructor. Over the course of three semesters, the researcher/instructor incorporated various techniques to create a greater sense of teaching presence in one of two simultaneous graduate assessment courses. Data was collected and analyzed from discussion board postings, emails, grades, and course evaluations in order to determine if efforts and tools used to enhance teaching presence were a worthwhile investment of the instructor’s time and energy. The results from this study indicate there is minimal evidence which demonstrates that creating a greater sense of teaching presence in the online classroom impacts student grades, student-instructor communication, instructor course evaluations or instructor satisfaction. Also, it was determined that teaching presence was not a required and/or needed part of this online learning environment. Instructors play a key role in the creation and facilitation of the learning process, but this research validates that it is more important for the instructor to be present rather than to create a sense of presence in online learning.

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