Reflection: Presence in Online Learning

If we revisit the Community of Inquiry Framework by Dewey, to review the key factors for the success of a learning community, we will see that it is all about presence.


But, which is the most important: social presence, cognitive presence, or teaching presence?

Besides the cognitive presence, I would say the teaching presence is one of the most important.

According to Garrison, 2009, it may be useful to discuss the influence of teaching presence on the success of an online learning experience. The body of evidence is growing rapidly, attesting to the importance of teaching presence for successful online learning. The consensus is that teaching presence is a significant determinate of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community.

This article presents 6 tips to build a thriving online learning community.

Hands-on Community

As I had to observe a community in an active participatory role, I chose the Elearning Heroes Discussions.

The purpose of this community is to have elearning professionals who are using Articulate products share their techniques, strategies, skills, and resources.

While I cannot guarantee this community would be relevant to everyone, especially, if you do not use any Articulate authoring tools, I can say it has helped me tremendously with tangible resources that I can apply to my projects immediately.

So, I guess my message is try to find a community that will help you with resources and skills you can apply to your workplace. These communities usually focus on a very specific set of skills, but they will offer opportunities for you to have a more active participation role and even showcase your work and get feedback from colleagues.

Whether you work with SoftChalk or Adobe authoring tools, try to find a community that will help you enhance your technical skills and make that or those authoring tools you and your company have investing in amazing power tools.



Lurking is not bad at all

I would like to share not only a resource, but also what I learned with the preparation process for our Community Paper assignment.

Before this process, for me, lurking had a bad connotation.However, from reading articles about online communities, communities of practice, and the definitions of lurking as well as through my experience these two last weeks, I realized that lurking is not a bad thing at all.

I signed up to @elearningfeeds via Twitter and learned that actually some groups are built with the purpose to RSS feed their members on the latest news in their industries. In this case: the elearning industry.

Elearning Feeds has been a great tool for me to keep informed of what is going on with elearning. I have been reading articles; some with a commercial intent, but many simply share great strategies and advice for elearning professionals.

As I was also learning how to use, or make good use of, Twitter. I realized that besides reading, I could click on like (the heart icon), and that would record that data under my profile history, so I can go back to those articles later if I wish.

I soon started retweeting those articles. And even though I have only 8 followers, it has been a good exercise as I grow in the social media world.

I truly recommend lurking in this type of “newsfeed” community. It is a very informative and enhancing experience.



When I think of copyright I immediately think of Creative Commons. In their own words:

“Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world — unlocking the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.”

For more inspiration, I really recommend this video:

 I would also recommend this resource from Georgetown University Library available at

It is very simple and straight to the point:

  • The basics of copyright;
  • What is allowed to use;
  • What is fair use;
  • Video;
  • Audio; and
  • Images.

Copyright doesn’t need to be complicated, boring or punitive.


Regarding curation, the first time I heard this term was in 2013, when I signed for a MOOC on “Social Media for Active Learning” created and delivered by whom? The one and only Vanessa Vennen, our instructor.


Anyway, I am familiar with I have an old account there with some bookmarks. But something is going on… I can still login and see my bookmarks. But there is a message at their front page:


From reading articles I bump into via Twitter and other communities, I see there is so much available! So many tools, so little time.


For example, this article by Christopher Pappas, from eLearing Industry, showcases 10 tools recommended for Top 10 Free Educational Content Curation Tools.


They all seem very useful!

I personally would like to explore Pinterest some more and also Elearning Tags, which is new to me.

What are your favorite tools for curation?


7 Principles for Good Practice…

This week I stumbled upon this article about Online Instruction and The 7 Principles for Good Practice.

As the article highlights the 7 principles, a common key factor you can see throughout is certainly teacher presence.

I found this article very informative and useful. It also crosswalks every principle with concrete strategies and LMS features. And although it was written by Canvas and for Canvas, you can easily adapt those pieces of advice/strategies to any other LMS you might be using.

The full article is available at

This image summarizes the principles:


SlideShare +LinkedIN

I already had accounts with both SlideShare and LinkedIN. However, as usual, I was not using SlideShare much at all. I was using LinkedIN, but, now I realize, in a very limited capability.

So, I started from the beginning: I read about this feature (, and then started exploring.

I was easily able to upload an infographic I created last semester on Cognitive Upload, then, I posted on my LinkedIN “page.”

I can immediately see how useful this can be in the classroom (whether online, blended, or F2F). Does anyone in EME6414 use LinkedIN, SlideShare or both with their students?


Am I too old for SnapChat?

Well, I am 46. Most likely I am.

It certainly took a while to get things working (make memory/space on my cell, install it, sign up for an account verify phone, email…). Then, the real challenge came along: the pet challenge. Well, I guess my has an even shorter attention span than SnapChat users, as she could not look at the camera for enough seconds. So, there was not enough time for the system to “recognize” her face and apply the funny filters. With this restless puppy, I ended up simply taking the picture and applying a “location” filter after the fact.

I confess I had fun! I was laughing with my distorted face pictures, white mouse face, etc. But 10 seconds, seriously?

I had a hard time thinking of instructional uses for SnapChat. Maybe I would start my online class with a introduce yourself game in SnapChat, I would not go further than that.

I understand that is where young people are, but how about using YouTube and/or Periscope instead?

I think we could meet halfway…

What do you think?


My Reflection on Produsage

I was really trying to understand the difference between producers and produsers. Then, as I completed the readings, I started to trace a timeline for the World Wide Web.

In the beginning of the World Wide Web, there was information and products for us to use. We were plainly users or consumers.

Soon, certain products, software and environments allowed us to become producers, and we could produce our own content (i.e. website) and share with the world.


I knew that today we should be considered produsers. But I needed to make sure I mastered its definition.

According to Bruns (2007), users are no longer readers, audiences, users or mere consumers – they have the ability to producers of content.

I also researched a bit, and I stumbled upon . It was reassuring to find the definition and key principles of produsage on this collaborative site:

  • Open participation, communal evaluation
  • Fluid heterarchy, Ad Hoc Meritocracy
  • Unfinished artefacts, continuing process
  • Common properties, individual rewards

I found good and clarifying information in this website, which, by the way, evolves around the book: “Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond” written by the one and only Alex Bruns.

Anyway, that is how I finally got the distinction:

Today, no matter where we go in the WWW, our role is not that defined anymore. In other words, even if we think we are playing the role of a user or consumer, such as when shopping at Amazon, we are still building useful tools/data for other customers through what we bought, our requests, consumer reviews… Not to mention we can become sellers at Amazon and build our own reputation and rewards in real profits.

This is a fascinating new world that some may take it for granted.