Instructing the Instructors: Training Instructors to Use Social Presence Cues in Online Courses

Paige Paquette, Troy University, Troy, Alabama, USA


Online learning has become an ever-evolving opportunity for students in all stages of life to achieve their educational goals while also participating in all of the other aspects of their lives. With all of the changes in online learning in the last decade, it is unfortunate that many online instructors have been left behind (Lackey, 2011). Instructors are hearing words like motivation, persistence, and retention, yet they do not know how to develop online courses that encourage their students to engage and interact with their classmates. They are unaware that assuring that they interject social presence into their online courses could change the entire atmosphere of a course. This study provided participating instructors with an online English composition course that encouraged participant interaction and engagement. Two of the instructors received an extra day of training, including details about social presence cues and using them in their online courses. The results demonstrated that “instructing the instructor” may help create a more inviting and engaging course for the participants, which further research may prove lends to the motivation, persistence, and retention most institutions are seeking today.


Instructor training, motivation, elearning, learner persistence, learner retention

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