OTL201 Post 5

Create a new post and discuss the following:

 Question #1: What are the 2-3 most important concepts that have impacted your thoughts on student engagement and retention during this course?

Answer#1:  I think one of the most important concepts that has impacted my thoughts on student engagement and retention is in regards to the 2 differing definitions of social presence.  The first definition placed more emphases on students and teachers presenting themselves as real people behind the computer so that it helped create a stronger sense of community and in turn support higher levels of cognitive skills.   However, the newer definition places more importance on the students and instructor being able to clearly identify academic goals and purposes of the learning environment versus developing and/or depending social connections.

This was interesting to read and a shift in my thinking that I am was happy to adjust.  “A key implication of this shift is that the initial days of an online course may not best be spent focused on developing social connections, but rather promoting the academic purposes of the learning environment.”  To me the newer definition makes more sense based on what the overall goals are.  I can understand a need for creating safety and openness but I don’t think that it needs to involve a ton of self-disclosure and relationship building through the process of self-disclosure.

One other important concept was the paragraph on interpersonal communication and the expressions of emotions through unconventional means.  In a previous working environment, I was having to do a lot of social media posting and became quite good at using caps and emoticons and am comfortable relaying a certain tone through this means.  However,  in this section of the reading there was again mention of self-disclosure.  I personally feel people in our world today overshare and find it to be a annoying.  Self-disclosure doesn’t have to be about sharing all your personal life details, it can simply be an opinion or thought around the course content and topic.  In a world that I find overshares way to much, I have become even more hesitant to share.

Question #2:  

Identify 2-3 specific goals that you would like to achieve in light of what you have learned about social presence and creating effective educational media

I think that creating a very cool blog that is reflective of me as a person and teacher and has a helpful resources for students.

SMART

Specific- I will create a blog that reflects me as a person and teacher and has resources. I want the purpose of it to help students feel they know me a bit and hopefully help them feel more comfortable and at ease when giving and receiving feedback.   I will start working on the blog once I actually begin the course.

I don’t really have any other questions at this time. I am more of a learn by doing sort of person and as I go through the process, when I have questions, I am very resourceful and will seek out and always find the answers to any questions I have.

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