Instructor Social Presence: Learners’ needs and a neglected component of the community of inquiry framework


Richardson, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. (2017). Instructor social presence: Learners’ needs and a neglected component of the community of inquiry framework. In A. Whiteside, A. Garrett Dikkers, & K. Swan, (Eds.), Social presence in online learning: Multiple perspectives on practice and research (pp. 86-98). Stylus.


Instructor Social Presence: Learners’ needs and a neglected component of the Community of Inquiry Framework

  • The CoI recognizes the importance of teaching presence, which is often referred to as teacher presence, yet teaching presence indicates any learner in a community of inquiry could take on the role. This chapter specifically looks at instructor social presence, which could be considered “teacher presence”.
  • Instructor social presence is especially important to consider when the instructor is not the course designer.
  • It is important for each instructor to develop their online persona, a way to make them feel “real” and authentic to students.
  • The designer of online courses need to consider how he/she and others teaching a course will be able to leverage design features such as built in interactions, avenues for communication.

Keywords: social presence, instructor social presence, instructor presence, teaching presence, teacher presence, community of inquiry

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