#HumanMOOC, Unit 1: Instructor Presence

One of the great things about a MOOC is the options you have for flexibility. I’m not sure why I thought I’d have time to take a MOOC over the holidays… I didn’t. I worked partway through week/unit 1 of #HumanMOOC on time in mid-December and finished working through the material just last week after a pause of nearly a month.

My primary take-away from this unit is that I’ve learned a lot about instructor presence before this MOOC. In fact, I didn’t run into anything new, novel, or noteworthy in the unit. I think that’s ok. It was good to review the material and take a moment to reflect on how well I developed my presence in the online course I co-taught in the fall (the first credit-bearing course I’ve ever taught). For that course, I created a video welcome of us speaking, a voice-over screencast tour of the course environment, incorporating a personal tone/voice into unit introductions, providing clear instructions and expectations, posting weekly announcements, monitoring individual progress and reaching out to students via individual email when appropriate, providing prompt and personal feedback, etc. I’d like to do more with providing audio and video feedback in the future when I am responsible for grading (I wasn’t in this co-teaching situation – my place for leaving feedback was in the discussion boards). In addition, I want to add on 2 mandatory one-on-one check-ins at strategic points in the semester to make a more personal connection and encourage students to be engaged. Lastly, the course would benefit from more storytelling to engage students and increase the human element. I am hopeful that the Digital Storytelling course I am currently taking will help me in that regard.

I also learned about a number of new-to-me tools to facilitate creating instructor presence. I have installed and plan to try out several iPad/iPhone apps to find a favorite: Doceri, Educreations, Knovio, ScreenChomp, and TouchCast.

I hope to finish working through week/unit 2, social presence, soon. Look for that post to come!

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