Teaching presence is defined as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes.
This paper reviews the tasks of the online teacher, gleaned from the literature and our own experiences as teachers of graduate level, online courses. It next introduces a technique for systematically analyzing the context of the text-based transcripts of those courses. We seek knowledge hidden in the data from the actual interactions between and among students and on-line teachers as they develop, facilitate, guide and evaluate learning activities. Our goal is to develop tools that are efficient, reliable, and practical in the task of helping teachers both understand and improve their on-line teaching. We examine messages for their contribution to three critical functions of the online (and classroom) teacher - designing and administrating learning activities, establishing and and maintaining an active learning community, and providing direct instruction. We hope our tools allow teachers to assess their own postings and serve as valued feedback for reflection and improvement of the teaching function. Secondly, the tools can be used for research to test hypothesis or diagnose problems in on-line teaching. We conclude with the results of our analysis of the transcripts from two graduate level teaching courses.
Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching presence in a Computer Conference Environment. submitted for publication. pdf Full Text