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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Teaching Persona, Philosophy, Blended Presence: Achieve Higher Marks on Your Student Surveys

William O Phillips (University of Central Florida, USA)
Session Information
July 9, 2014 - 10:10am
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Areas of Special Interest: 
Blended Course
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Court 1
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 5

By quickly establishing an online teaching persona, using "swift trust" and favoring a sustained teaching presence your student survey ratings will jump.

Extended Abstract

In 2005, Vaughan and Garrison stated, "Blended learning is on the cusp of transforming higher education." They go on to say, "The true benefit of blended learning is in integrating face-to-face verbal and online text-based exchanges and matching each to appropriate learning tasks."

Jump to the University of Central Florida (UCF), Spring 2014 semester, there are almost 50,000 student credit hours being attempted in 430 blended sections by 16,501 students. This represents over 20% of UCF's student credit hours attempted in this semester.

UCF's premier and award-winning faculty development course, IDL6543, successfully uses the blended learning model. Each semester approximately 40 UCF faculty members successfully complete IDL6543 under the facilitation of an Instructional Designer and supported by 70 team members from the Center for Distributed Learning. Over 1100 UCF faculty have successfully completed IDL6543.

As Vaughan and Garrison go on to say, "…faculty experience blended learning while learning about blended (and fully online) learning." In IDL6543 many of the strategies used to deliver the course are enabled by the new online faculty, successfully, "matching each (exchange) to appropriate learning tasks," (Vaughan and Garrison, 2005).

Prior to the start of this intensive faculty development course the instructors and instructional designers establish their presence in the course with an introductory email. This initial teaching strategy is the use of the instructor(s) introduction (written, audio, video, and/or photograph), "swift trust" and the use of the instructor persona and teaching philosophy in an introductory module 0 and carrying over into module 1.

Faculty quickly begin their transformation into online teaching and learning by developing their own set of introductory strategies to begin their online course(s). Survey data will prove that ratings improve when students marked professors high in the following: Facilitation of learning, Communication and Respect for the learners. The sample (N) of over 1,200,000 gathered over the past 18 years is foundational to this presentation.

Walk away from this interactive session with practical solutions, backed by strong data points, to strengthen your student perception of instruction ratings. The session will provide insight and guidelines for developing these strategies in your blended course offerings.

Vaughan, N. & Garrison, D. R. (2005). Creating cognitive presence in a blended faculty development community. The Internet and Higher Education,8, 1, 1-12.

Lead Presenter

William O. (Bill Phillips is an Instructional Designer for Course Development and Web Services at the University of Central Florida (UCF where he has been a faculty member since 2000. He earned an Ed. D. from UCF specializing in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on the online teaching persona. Bill holds a BA in Communication from the University of South Florida (USF and MA from UCF in Instructional Systems Design. Bill has extensive experience in online teaching and learning and has developed over four hundred online courses. He facilitates online faculty at UCF.