Less is More: Use of Video to Address the Problem of Teacher Immediacy and Presence in Online Courses

Anne Bialowas
Weber State University

Sarah Steimel
Weber State University

Online courses are becoming more common at institutions of higher education, yet teaching online creates many challenges, including how to foster instructor immediacy in the online learning environment. Student feedback on audio and video teaching techniques were collected in two undergraduate online classes. Students thought that using video in multiple ways (weekly announcements and assignment feedback) provided increased immediacy and motivation for online students in two Communication courses: Mass Media and Society and Communication Theory. Ultimately, instructors can make a positive difference in perceived instructor immediacy and presence with small changes through general class directed videos and short weekly video announcements (roughly 3 minutes in length) periodically throughout the semester. Use of short videos for feedback as opposed to longer lecture-based videos can be a useful instructional technique for a wide range of online courses within higher education.

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