How to engage students online? Try Creating Presence in Online Courses

Online instructors face a unique challenge: commanding students’ attention at a distance. The four-week online mini-course Creating Presence in Online Courses is designed for instructors, instructional designers, and practitioners who work with online programs, helping them develop this specialized skill.

“It’s not only important to provide good content for online courses, but to create a sense of presence,” says instructor Simone C.O. Conceição, a professor in the Department of Administrative Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and visiting professor of distance teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It is essential for fostering learner engagement and community in an online learning environment.”

Creating Presence in Online Courses is offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Distance Education Professional Development and is ideal for those with at least some experience teaching online. From Oct. 24 to Nov. 20, this mini-course will provide practical examples, evidence-based principles, and a design framework for promoting presence. Participants will learn to develop activities that foster a sense of presence and promote student engagement in online courses.

“In this certificate, we will introduce presence as a multidimensional concept that needs to be experienced by both instructor and student,” says Conceição. “We will also explore the social and psychological aspects of online presence.”

To learn more or to register for Creating Presence in Online Courses, see here or contact Janet Staker Woerner, janet.stakerwoerner@wisc.edu, 608-890-3038. Registration closes on Oct. 19.