Kerstin Howard e-Portfolio

Teaching and Learning in Online Distance Education

OMDE 610


An exploration of the online teaching and learning dynamic, including its theoretical foundation and best practices. The themes that shape the online teaching-learning relationship are addressed through individual and collaborative projects. Topics include philosophical frameworks; instructional, social, and cognitive presence; interaction, collaboration, and participation; community and engagement; and administration and management.



The most important element that stuck with me from the Teaching and Learning in Online Distance Education course is social presence. From my past work experiences, I have found that the analysis and implementation of affective behavior in an online classroom is often not considered. Thanks to this course, I was able to demonstrate the importance of social presence to my peers and managers, and show how it can create a conducive learning environment. Social presence is shown as emotional expressions through humor and visual cues such as emoticons. These expressions help foster positive relationships and rapport among learners and instructors leading towards a positive learning environment. The assignments of this course helped me understand how detrimental social presence is to sustaining connectivity in a collaborative learning environment. Social presence helps to keep learners motivated to perform in an environment that would otherwise seem isolated.


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