Teaching presence supports social and cognitive presence. It does this through:

Design of the educational experience:

  1. What material is selected at each level of study?
  2. How this material is organised both within the year and across years?
  3. How course content is presented (e.g. lectures, workshops, readings, student-generated, problem-based)?
  4. What learning activities are created (e.g. assignments-for-learning, peer observation, peer-feedback, collaboration)?
  5. What assignments and assessments are used in the course (e.g. formative, summative, coursework-based or end-of-course; are they assessments of learning or assignments for learning)?


  1. Setting a climate for learning (e.g. being supportive, encouraging attempts at understanding).
  2. Encouraging discussion (e.g. setting up opportunities for students to talk to each other, asking further questions instead of providing straight answer)
  3. Ensuring inclusivity and accessibility to ensure everyone is able to meet the learning outcomes.

When teaching presence facilitates social and cognitive presence successfully there is a greater likelihood that the learning outcomes of the course will be achieved.