OTL201 Post 5 – Integrating Social Presence

2 concepts that have impacted my thoughts on student engagement and retention + a question: I was surprised by the research findings that various modes of media delivery (paper & pencil, projector, PPT, video, animation, etc.) do not have a significant impact on success in the course. I was not surprised that certain types of media increase student engagement more than others but I would think that as student engagement increases, so does success in the course. A question I have is, “what is the relationship between level of student engagement and successful completion of a course?”

I was also impacted by the definition of social presence as not only creating relationships (i.e., who is the real person behind the computer?) but also as identifying and promoting the academic purpose of the learning environment so as to facilitate a group identity…this notion that academic goals should precede the development of social relationships. I hadn’t really thought in terms of one building off the other like that, but it makes sense. If you can create a group identity, then this should facilitate the formation of personal relationships.

My rationale for implementing 1 or 2 course facilitation strategies to increase student retention and engagement: Two strategies I’d like to implement are the creation of a FAQ section and some tutorials to discuss key course concepts. I want to use these strategies so that students feel supported and motivated (i.e., create a safe learning environment). I also hope that the FAQ section will create some structure (students check this area to see if their question can be answered before emailing me).

2 goals I’d like to achieve regarding social presence and creating effective educational media: I’d like to increase my social presence by posting an introductory video and posting 1 tutorial per module (there are 4 modules) which would include a brief discussion of a key concept with an invitation for them to post comments and ask questions.

I’d also like to create a FAQ document. To do this, I will use questions that I receive from students via email and questions that I see in their posts. Because I am new to teaching this course, this document may take a bit of time to put together…thus far, there have been few questions.