Internal - Faculty & Staff

Your Online Presence: Show Your Face

Instructor presence is extremely important in online teaching. After an extensive review of the literature, Brook and Oliver (2003) concluded that “there is strong support for the supposition that the social phenomenon of community may be put to good use in the support of online learning.” Similarly, Herbert (2006) discovered that the responsiveness of faculty to students who need help increases persistence in online courses and creates a greater degree of satisfaction with the learning process. Students do not learn well when they are trying to learn important content from a faceless instructor who rarely checks in. Remember, YOU are teaching this course.

Here are some suggestions for what you can do build an online community for your online courses. A key approach is to create a supportive learning environment. One way to do this is by welcoming your students at the beginning of the course and orienting them to online learning.

1. Create a Welcome Video

Bring your face and personality to the course by creating a short video to introduce yourself, your education and experience, and a few things about yourself. You can do this with a webcam or even include some powerpoint slides. Students are very receptive to this soft of personal touch, and it helps everyone be comfortable and ready for the learning process.


2. Write a Welcome Letter

At the beginning of the course, write a Welcome Letter to your students introducing yourself and welcoming them to the course. Be sure to include a photo of yourself. This will allow the students to associate your face with your name and immediately have a personal connection with you.


Welcome Letter Examples