Three levels of instructor presence to 1) support learners and 2) encourage development of a Community of Inquiry (CoI).

Lead Instructor: AU faculty member
Provided a static presence via pre-recorded videos (module introductions) and text-graphics placed strategically in modules to help clarify complex subject matter.

The Inspirer: AU MDE graduate and research assistant
Provided a dynamic presence via informal video and text announcements, discussion board posts, and email support, acknowledging and addressing notable content contributions and in-course activities by learners. Declining frequency as learners became more self-reliant and built CoI.

Facilitators: 4 MDE graduates/students
Provided a dynamic presence designed to provide a sense of touch with all participants. Each Facilitator responsible for:
• daily monitoring and facilitation of discussions in one ‘Homeroom’ forum and topics started in the various course forums by learners from their homerooms; and
• responding to email queries from leaners.
Declining frequency as learners became more self-reliant and built CoI.

Start-up (3-4 days)
LMS support tools (Canvas) and course directions (course design team) handled numerous issues and questions, but it was still VERY hectic in the first few days. There were multiple emails and discussion posts. Most related to navigation and the use of the Canvas LMS. Some related to one non-functional interactive activity.

After start-up
More manageable rhythm. Some learners moved quickly through the modules. (Facilitators felt the need to keep up.) Inspirer stuck to the original schedule while acknowledging self-paced progression of learners.

Video: Proved labour intensive to produce. Rich modality and personalized messages from the Inspirer resulted in generally positive reception and high levels of uptake. Some learners asked that accompanying text versions be supplied to ‘save time.’

Text: Discussion boards were promoted as the preferred text tool (versus email) since all can see and benefit from posts and contribute to questions and topics. Most text-based communication was discussion board activity. The exceptions: facilitators contacted the supervisor (the Inspirer) via email for clarification, notification of problems. A small number of learners still sent questions via emails.

Learner activity (videos, discussion boards and emails): Viewership and volume were very high in the early days, but tapered in frequency and volume as the course progressed. Dynamic videos (announcements) were viewed more than static videos (module introductions).

Welcome from the Instructor

Update from the Course Inspirer (2017)

Update from the Course Inspirer (2015)

Additional course videos are available at the LTLO YouTube Channel.