Instructor Presence During the First Week

The frequency with which you make visible, real-time contributions to the course during the first week will send a message to students about how often they should be in the course and what kind of contact they can expect from you. Logging in every day during the first week and reviewing active areas in your course will allow you to catch questions about course basics immediately. Other recommended strategies for strong instructor presence include:

  • A second welcome announcement that appears later in the week. This might discuss tips for success or why you selected a particular text.
  • An introduce-yourself discussion framed around an interesting prompt. The right question makes it easy for you to ask a follow-up question of each student. If you answer your own prompt, don’t be surprised if students start to engage with you!
  • A journal reflection in which students share their goals for the course, challenges they might encounter, plans they have to mitigate those challenges, and how you can help. Starting this dialogue early lets students know that you are a resource and lets you know of any issues the student might have in completing coursework.

Learn more about best practices during the first week of an online course.