Space planner, pacesetter, host, connector, and mirror. These are a few of the online instructor’s roles that strengthen instructor presence. In these roles, instructors
- facilitate discussions
- post reminders or clarifications in announcements
- provide feedback on learning activities
- respond to student questions
- provide assessments
As a new online instructor, you may gravitate toward certain roles and then expand into others as you become more experienced in the online environment. Your role may change depending on the course and the level of your students’ proficiency.
Ultimately, the roles and responsibilities of the online instructor center on promoting community, interactivity, and student success in the online classroom. The article “Five roles I Play in Online Courses” from Innovate: Journal of Online Education details five vital roles such as Space Planner and Host. Although this article is from 2005, it still provides a great overview of the instructor’s roles in the online classroom that still hold true today.
How do you interact with your students in your face-to-face classroom? What roles do you play in that learning environment? How do these roles compare to the roles that were introduced in the video and the readings?
One more video, this time by Tim Vaughan of the College of Business at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Tim discusses how he shifts his time when he teaches online.