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Instructor Presence for Web-Based Classes

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Delta Pi Epsilon Journal Volume 51, Number 2, ISSN 0011-8052


Is instructor presence important in an online distance education class? Yes, said the students of this mixed methods research study. Students (n=241) enrolled in 31 Web-based sections of classes at four Midwestern post-secondary institutions in two different states were surveyed. The survey instrument included both the Rovai Classroom Community Scale (CCS) and the Roblyer Rubric for Assessing Interactive Qualities in Distance Courses. The data suggested that the instructor elements with the most impact were Instructional Designs for Interaction, r=0.448, p less than 0.01, and Evidence of Instructor Engagement, r=0.446, p less than 0.01. Selected students (n=42) were then interviewed to determine if they perceived instructor presence was important. The instructor was mentioned by 81% of the students, either individually or in conjunction with content and/or other students, as a major factor in helping students to develop community in the online environment. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)


Lear, J.L., Isernhagen, J.C., LaCost, B.A. & King, J.W. (2009). Instructor Presence for Web-Based Classes. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 51(2), 86-98. Retrieved June 24, 2021 from .

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