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Teaching Presence

Teaching presence relates to the process of design, facilitation, and direction throughout the learning experience in order to realize desired learning outcomes (Garrison et al., 2000).

The three major categories under teaching presence are instructional design and management, building understanding, and direct instruction. Establishing teaching presence means creating a learning experience for students to progress through with instructor facilitation, support, and guidance.
As instructors we actively guide our students through course materials, reinforce key concepts, and foster student engagement. These components of teaching presence are critical to a successful student learning experience.

Examples include:

  • Defining and initiating discussion topics;
  • Sharing personal meaning;
  • Focusing discussion;
  • Avoiding misconceptions;
  • Sharing expectations;
  • Encouraging collaboration;
  • Confirming understanding.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Effective Practices:  Discussion Forum Facilitation

Direct instruction involves your input into the interaction areas of your online course, most significantly the discussion forum. At APUS we use discussion forums in our courses to share knowledge, explore ideas, and develop critical thinking skills — all of which support teaching presence.