Efficiencies in online teacher presence

Something I’ve been researching and contemplating lately as I look to implement the TEC-VARIETY model into courses within the LMS we use, Moodle.  My aim in integrating this model is that it will become a part of the design of a course in a way that develops more opportunities to build teacher presence and Communities of Inquiry.  However, how do you build teacher presence into a course without the teacher having to do exhaustive amounts of extra work that they simply can’t do?  What other strategies will increase student engagement?  This is what I want to find out and I think about as I work towards using the TEC-VARIETY model in online course design.

Community of inquiry for successful online learning (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001b) featured in Subramaniam and Kandasamy (2011). The virtual classroom: A catalyst for institutional transformation, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(Special issue, 8), 1388-1412.

I have been reading a bit of Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2001) and their research on Communities of Inquiry (CoI) and it has definitely helped me understand better what teacher presence is and what other elements contribute to student engagement with their online course.  This wiki page, Edutech wiki, explores the CoI model providing a great introduction to the model and supporting resources.  Creating teacher presence isn’t just about ‘presence’ and being there but setting up structures and designing he course in a way that say “I care about this course and I am intentional in designing it to run in a certain way, to benefit all my students”, well that’s my interpretation.

My thought now is how does the TEC-VARIETY model support the CoI model and how do they compliment each other in enhancing student engagement?  I’m not necessarily going to use both to inform research and any one project but I’m certainly interested in them both and how they support each other.  I will explore the CoI model further and reflect more on how it can be applied to Moodle courses.  My musings but some food for thought…

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