Instructor Social Presence in Remote Teaching: “Yes, we Can!”
Abstract: One of the major objections that are raised against remote teaching is that it hampers “social presence”, one of the key components of a learning experience (according to the Community of Inquiry model of teaching; Garrison et al., 2000). In this paper, we present the results of a survey to more than 1000 Italian teachers who were forced to teach online during the COVID-19 pandemic (March-June 2020) and – quite surprisingly – identified the discovery of a “new form of relationship” with their students as one of the major positive aspects of the experience. Results of the study confirm that the Instructor Social Presence can be achieved, even in a fully online environment; ISP seems to stem from a whole environment (composed of synchronous, asynchronous, collective and individual interactions) rather than on a single component of the remote teaching experience; eventually, high motivation and experience in pedagogy, over technical skill, seems to be a pre-requisite for instructors to be able to generate ISP.
Presider: Melissa Arrambide, TAMUC