Week 1 Activities and Topics


streamStudents in higher education want to “connect” in the courses that they take. Enabling them to connect both academically and socially is critical to their success in the course and the program. They have a desire to connect with the content they are provided, connect with other students, and also establish a connection with their instructor. In this course we are learning about how to create these connections so that students feel like they have a true “presence” in our classes. This week we are specifically talking about Instructor Presence.

Establishing instructor presence is critical in an online class so that students do not feel isolated and alone. Imagine if an instructor didn’t show up to teach in a face-to-face class? What makes an instructor successful in an online classroom is no different than a face-to-face classroom. Your role as the lecturer or faculty is to help your students become more involved in the subject area and content, connect them with you (the professor), and other students.

In this module, learners will explore techniques for increasing their instructor presence in their online courses. Methods from experts in the industry have been curated to bring you the best advice. For example, one of the strategies presented this week is to engage our students with an instructor introduction video.


  • Competency 1: Introduces self to class in engaging, visual manner
  • Competency 2: Reflects on pros and cons of instructor video in class
  • Competency 3: Demonstrates usage of interactive educational tool to connect with learners


  • What are your thoughts about teaching online? Do you feel like the role of a online teacher is different than a face-to-face instructor?
  • Is teaching online different than teaching face-to-face? When students take an online class, what are some factors that may cause them to feel a lack of connection?
  • What steps can instructors take to increase their presence in an online course?


  • Identify and apply humanizing techniques in your own online course.
  • Create an introduction video to use in your own online course.
  • Develop content that can be utilized in your own online courses to increase your social presence.


  • Read articles and watch videos regarding the use of video to enhance presence.
  • Join the SUNY TOEP Instructor Presence & Tools Hangout with Roberta Sullivan and Cherie Van PutenGoogle Hangouts (to be announced).
  • Join the Instructor Presence Hangout with Alec Couros (December 17, 2015, Time TBA)
  • Participate through blogging or twitter during live twitter chats during the Google Hangouts (hashtag #HumanMOOC).
  • Complete the Instructor Introduction Activity by uploading a video to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Complete the Instructor Presence Reflection Activity by participating in the Canvas Discussion forum.
  • Complete the Instructor Presence Tool Activity by utilizing Flipgrid.