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5 Tips to Increase Instructor Presence in Brightspace

  1. 5 Tips to Increase Your Online Presence in Brightspace Kevin Cormier, Brightspace Administrator New Brunswick Community College
  2. New Brunswick Community College • 6 Campus Locations and 1 Corporate Office • 4,500 Regular, 10,000+ continuing studies • 750 Full-Time and 80 Part-time faculty • NBCC Offers over 90 regular programs across 18 sectors
  3. Why Presence Is Important In Online Courses • Helps create an emotional connection with the students. • Promotes engagement, which in turn helps with student success and retention. Students feel more connected when the instructor exhibits an active teaching presence. • Students need to know there’s someone leading them through the educational experience, otherwise, students will feel isolated, discouraged, and perhaps demotivated. • A strong online teaching presence makes for a strong online learning experience and a sense of community for your students.
  4. Why Presence Is Important In Online Courses “In the face-to-face classroom, we don’t actually have to think too much about being present because we’re there – it’s a physical thing. In the online space there is no physicality. I’m not there physically. I don’t see people eye to eye. We may not even be in the same time zone. So how do I convey to the students that there is somebody who is participating, who is a leader in this educational experience?” Larry Ragan – Director of Instructional Design and Development Penn State World Campus
  5. Tip 1 : Regular Course Announcements • Create course announcements just prior to important events such as quizzes, assignments and midterms. Creating these prior to the start of the term gives you one less thing to worry about and keeps the students well informed. • Also consider posting announcements highlighting the connections between course content, activities and assignments. This will help the student understand and match the learning outcomes for the course. • When creating the announcement, consider using “Dear {FirstName},” at the beginning of the notification so it is personally addressed to each student. • Course Announcements can be created using the “Announcements” or “Activity Feed” Tool.
  6. Tip 2 : Use Intelligent Agents To Communicate With Students • The Intelligent agents tool allows instructors to set up automatic notifications to be sent to themselves, advisors or students when specified course performance criteria are met. It can be used to recognize student achievement and warn of potential problems. • Consider setting up an intelligent agent for when students are successful in a quiz attempt or assignment. They’ll love the encouragement and reassurance. • Also consider setting up an intelligent agent for when students are not successful in a quiz or assignment attempt. This will show that you care about the students success in the course. • Use the tool to check in on students who’ve been inactive within the course.
  7. Tip 3 : Video Note Tool Is A Great Way To Establish Presence • Consider using the Video Note tool in announcements or content to introduce modules, weekly learning outcomes or just to welcome students to the course. These can be recorded prior to the beginning of the course and can be date released. • You can also use the Video Note tool to provide the students with feedback on assignments and in the discussions tool. • The Audio Note tool will also work if you’d rather not be on video (except in “Content”). • By using video or audio, it helps bring a human element to the course. • Don’t feel you need to edit your audio or video. Imperfections bring a human element to your video.
  8. Tip 4 : Online Office Hours • Take advantage of virtual spaces such as “Skype”, “Virtual Classroom”, or any other chat room to offer up weekly or by-weekly online office hours. • Online office hours can cut down on having to reply to the same questions over and over again. • Students can all be active participants, instead of waiting in a line outside your door. • It also allows the entire class the opportunity to see the questions the other students are asking.
  9. Tip 5 : Take Advantage Of Online Discussion Forums • The discussion forums in brightspace are a great place to enhance the instructor- student connection or even the student-student connection. • Don’t feel you need to be at the center of every discussion, but provide some thought- provoking questions and offer guidance if and when necessary so the students know your present in the discussion. • By allowing the students to interact with other classmates and build their understanding through collaboration, they in turn build a sense of community and presence with their classmates/peers which in turn leads to better student success. • If you don’t want to facilitate full class discussions, you can set up journals.
  10. Other Suggestions To Increase Presence • The use of Social Media such as a facebook page, twitter account, Instagram, etc. • At the beginning of your course, create a video-based or powerpoint introduction. This lets the students see and know you as a real person. • Use the virtual classroom tool to bring in a guest lecture. • Try to foster a personal relationship with each student by sending them a personalized email or message at the beginning of the course to welcome them. • Consider making your syllabus more interactive by adding video/audio or images.
  11. Questions?

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. A good analogy is thinking about a hockey team without their coach being their to guide them. If you have a question about the course or course content and the instructor isn’t present, then many students wont have the motivation to reach out for help. Don’t have to be present 24/7. These tips will help automate presence.
  2. -If your school doesn’t use course announcements, contact your admin about getting them turned on. - Consider course announcements instead of class emails. For online courses that have no official dates for quizzes or assignments, you can use the release conditions option to release the announcement when the student meets a course condition such as views a content topic, submits an assignment, completes a quiz, etc. Timely notices for when the students needs it.
  3. Could be used when a student completes a module, does well or fails a quiz or exam, etc. When students are given positive feedback, they are driven to keep improving and learning Also could use intelligent agents to check in on students progression halfway into a course. “Hey {FirstName}, I see you didn’t do as well as you would have hoped on Quiz 1, please reach out to me at your earliest convenience and we’ll see about improving your grade to ensure you are successful in the course.“
  4. By using video note tool, it helps bring that human element to the course that online courses so often lack. Think about areas of course content that may benefit from the supplement of audio or video components Showcase welcome video in test course
  5. Virtual classroom will allow all students in your course to join if the tool is turned on at the org and may be an easier option if the instructor wants to record the session for those who missed it to view. - Online office hours is just another way to bring the human element into your course and lets the students know that you do care about their questions and success.
  6. This session is about increasing instructor presence, but, building community in classes is just as important and discussion forums can help do that, specifically in online courses. Consider weekly journals to help the student track their learning in the class. Also lets the student know the instructor cares about their success.
  7. Biology instructor at UNB who had twitter account to share articles and info with his class, but also his former classmates who still followed the account in twitter could see them. Media Arts instructor at UNB who had a facebook page for her class. She wouldn’t friend any of her students and not everyone has a social media account.