Creating Presence in Online Courses


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Creating a sense of instructor presence is crucial for fostering learner engagement and community in an online learning environment. We approach online presence in a multidimensional way from the perspectives of both instructor and student. Learn practical examples, evidence-based principles, and a design framework for promoting presence before, during, and after your online courses. Discover how to develop learning activities that encourage a sense of presence and promote deeper learning and student engagement.


Who should attend?

This certificate is designed for instructors, instructional designers, and practitioners who work with online programs. It is ideal for individuals with at least some experience teaching online who would like to enhance their online teaching skills.

Learning activities

You will learn through a variety of activities, including interactive online modules, readings, discussion forums, webinars, and completion of a final project where you apply what you learn to a course you are currently teaching or will be teaching in the future. Activities will also assist instructional designers who are helping someone design a course. 

Time requirements

Total duration: 4 weeks. Course work and assignments can be expected to take 5-7 hours per week.

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Course Outline

Course Structure and Topics

Unit 1: Role of Presence in the Online Environment

Explore the importance of presence in online courses and the difference between presence and engagement. Discover ways in which presence can be experiences online.

Unit 2: Framework for Designing Online Presence

Learn the determinants of presence and the elements of the framework for designing online courses with a sense of presence.

Unit 3: Online Course Activities that Create a Sense of Presence

Learn how to develop activities for an online course that create a sense of presence.

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 27
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 2.7

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

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Not scheduled at this time. Join the mailing list.

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Turn this class into a learning experience tailored to your organization's specific training needs.

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Program Questions?

Contact Janet Staker Woerner at janet.stakerwoerner@wisc.edu or 608-692-7131

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

What Attendees Are Saying

"The Creating Presence in Online Courses class was outstanding. It was fast-paced, but rich in content. It was nice to take what I was learning and immediately apply those concepts to my class."

-Steve Graham, adjunct instructor