Instructor Presence

What is Instructor Presence? 

Instructor presence refers to “instructor’s being there, being heard, being seen” in their online courses.  Based on the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework, there are three types of instructor presence needed for online courses. 

  • Social Presence: “the ability of students to project themselves socially and affectively into a community of inquiry.” 
  • Cognitive Presence: “the extent to which students are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained discourse in a community of inquiry.” 
  • Teaching Presence: “the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the realization of personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes.” 

Source: Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer, 2001. 

Why is Instructor Presence Important?  

Studies indicate that instructor presence impacts student’s satisfaction and academic success (Garrison, 2007, Anderson & Elloumi, 2004; Shea, Pickett & Petz, 2003). Instructors play the major role of course facilitator and establish their visibility online via social presence and teaching presence. 

Instructor Presence Tips & Resources

For more information and tips for enhancing instructor presence in your online courses, please see the Instructor Presence page of the Faculty Resource Center in Blackboard (requires UTAD login).