Experiences of Online Presence: Teaching, Social, and Cognitive Presence in a Participant Facilitated and Product Oriented Course




Boyer, Rebecca

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Course design decisions impact how participants experience an online learning environment. When course design decisions promote online presence, learners have more meaningful and have more successful online learning experiences. This study examined participants’ experiences of online presence (teacher presence, social presence, and cognitive presence) in a participant facilitated, product oriented, fully online course design. Data were analyzed for emergent themes to examine participants’ experiences and the persona method from user experience research was employed to narrate the experience of a typical participant in this study course. The results of this study for teaching presence indicated that teaching presence was evident to participants. However, they wanted more instructor participation in course discussion boards, even if there was as student facilitator to guide work products and discussion. The results of this study for social presence indicated that social presence was abundant in this study course including the social presence of the instructor. However, participants’ social presence needs were not met by the LMS used, and they used outside tools to communicate with each other. The results of this study for cognitive presence indicated that for this product oriented study course, the resolution stage is reached when a learning product is produced. In addition, this research showed that the persona method borrowed from user experience research can be employed to illustrate the typical experience of an online course participant.



Educational technology, Cognitive presence, Course design, Online presence, Social presence, Teaching presence