In Instructor Social Presence: An Essential Tool for Online Student Engagement and Persistence in Higher Education, Catheryn Reardon argues that the social presence of the instructor plays a critical role in online student engagement and persistence in higher education. Although the results presented in this study were inconclusive, the findings revealed some important areas for future research including the role that empathy plays in a virtual environment. Strategies are identified so instructors can appear more empathetic and accessible to their students online. Innovative technologies are also explored as the author challenges where the future of online education is headed and how that may impact the instructor and students of tomorrow.
Catheryn Reardon is adjunct professor at Georgia Military College, Southern New Hampshire University, and California Baptist University.
List of Tables
Preface: The Surge of Online Learning During the Pandemic
Introduction: A Brief History of Online Learning
Chapter One: Review of the Literature and Developing the Study
Chapter Two: Instructor Social Presence and Empathy in the Online Classroom
Chapter Three: The Quantitative View; What was Revealed and What was Not
Chapter Four: Instructor Social Presence as a Tool for Student Engagement and Persistence
Chapter Five: Best Practices in Online Teaching
Chapter Six: Conclusion and Areas for Future Research
Chapter Seven: Being Human in the Age of Digital Learning and Beyond
About the Author
If you want a straightforward, yet informative (and enlightening) read about improving social presence and empathy in the online classroom, Instructor Social Presence: An Essential Tool for Online Student Engagement and Persistence in Higher Education is your book! After a review of educational research literature and her own data collected in her courses, Reardon reveals best practices that are easy to understand and follow. Her work is helpful to online instructors who care about learning and student success in the 21st century.
Dr. Reardon, through credible research, has illustrated the importance of social and instructor presence in the online classroom, as well as the fact that students who choose online learning very much benefit from a good working relationship with peers and instructors. Her work brings much needed attention to how engagement and interaction with instructors and peers can contribute to student success and retention in online courses. This research is a valuable contribution to the current literature in the field, and it will prove beneficial as students in the 21st century continue to migrate to online learning for their journey through higher education.