Introducing myself to students is always something that makes me wonder – how much do students really want to know about me?
The ways in which my post (OTL 201 Post 1) could enhance social presence is to give students a glimpse into who I am (French speaking, mother of 3, lame sense of humour!), where I have lived and studied, my academic background, my work, and (I hope), my passion for teaching and learning. Thinking back to f2f introductions I have made of myself to students, I think they did remember at least some of those things about me, so they were interested to know about me in ways that I did not really appreciate before now.
The ways in which my post could be improved to further enhance social presence would be to customize it to the specific course content – rather than my general background in criminology, emphasizing what I bring to the table for this specific course, my goals for the course… I could also be more mindful of my greeting and closing, invite students into the course, encourage them to seek me out.
When I was working with the Instructional Designer to develop the courses I will be teaching, she put a fair bit of emphasis on students posting about what they are learning and responding to other posts. I could not really tell how important that would be, given that the courses are asynchronous, continuous intake. But the readings on social presence have really helped to clarify it for me. It is a way for students to engage, to make the course theirs. I will definitely be aware of social presence in responding to their posts.