Online Teaching Presence

Teaching presence is a component of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework for teaching effective, engaging courses. Other components include social presence and cognitive presence. Teaching presence is defined as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes (Anderson, et al., 2001). In short, teaching presence is how the instructor shows up and facilitates the class, and it may be a little more difficult to create in an online environment.

20 Ways to Create Teaching Presence Online

  1. Create an introductory video of yourself for your students and don’t be afraid to let students learn more about you personally – pets, family photo, book you are reading, etc.
  2. Check in with students regularly and reach out to those who fall behind.
  3. Hold online office hours.
  4. Resolve student problems and questions.
  5. Be present in discussion forums.
  6. Provide timely, actionable, and substantive feedback.
  7. Provide clear expectations on how students can reach you both synchronously (office hours) and asynchronously (email, text, etc.).
  8. Clearly explain how the assignments will help students obtain the learning objectives.
  9. Include early activities to make students comfortable with technology.
  10. Ask students to turn on their webcams.
  11. Show up 10-15 minutes early to class.
  12. Encourage students to use the “raise hand” and “chat” functions in Zoom.
  13. Use formative assessments such as polls, quizzes, discussion posts, reflective writing assignments, and participation in class sessions to provide ample opportunity for feedback.
  14. Use discussion prompts to engage students.
  15. Use an icebreaker with a poll or by posting a question in chat (muddiest point, weekend plans, what is your favorite…, etc.).
  16. Try to draw in participants so that all students are able to contribute. This may be done more effectively by coordinating small breakout rooms or group assignments.
  17. Encourage, acknowledge, and reinforce student contributions.
  18. Help students develop skills to manage their time.
  19. Praise students with a shout-out to those who are being supportive of their peers.
  20. At the end of the week, create a highlights reel of what happened in the class and insightful contributions by students.


This information was compiled by Online Learning's Kristin Palmer and can be accessed in the below document.

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