There is not much of a social presence at work in my online course. Compared to the online courses I have taken through Thomson Rivers University, where I feel there is a relationship established between teacher and students as well as between students. These relationships are not fostered in my sport physiology class. There is definitely a different “feel” to this class in comparison, I feel like I’m in alone and basically learning by myself. In my TRU classes I am comfortable messaging my instructor or even other students (which I should be doing more of) and asking for help or clarification about assignments. I don’t get this same sense from my physiology class. I wouldn’t feel comfortable messaging my instructor because I don’t have any relationship with him whatsoever and I definitely have no relationships with other students. I did find my professor’s bio on the course site and it contains his office phone number. I should give him a call and see how that goes. There opportunities for student to student contact through the discussion forums, however they seem rather impersonal as there may be thousands of people taking this course worldwide.
An example of cognitive presence in my online class is the focus of the discussion on specific issues. Each week has a discussion prompt that is directly related to the material covered and it lets you offer your opinion on a specific issue such as the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. When getting involved in the discussions you are using the background knowledge that you have just attained in the videos and readings. I found this effective because it was focused on what I had just learned and it was immediate so I didn’t forget concepts.
As for teacher presence, the best example from my course is the way the instructor has set up and organized the course. Before the course even begins, teaching presence would start as the instructor designs, plans and implements the course. My instructor has done an exemplary job in establishing the learning goals and providing course material to assist the students in fulfilling these goals.