Five Roles I Play in Online Courses

October 6, 2005

In my view, the key to successful teaching and learning is relationships. As Bernard et al. (2004) suggest, “Instructionally relevant contact with instructors and peers is not only desirable, it is probably necessary for creating learning environments that lead to desirable achievement gains and general satisfaction with DE [distance education]” (412). In online courses, developing meaningful relationships requires different strategies. Although this philosophy is familiar, especially to experienced online instructors, the five roles I describe below provide a useful rubric for thinking about how an instructor can promote community.

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