What does your profile photo tell your students about you?

Session Description
In online courses, instructors play an important role in modeling the expected and accepted forms of being. They not only set the tone for themselves but also for the learners. They demonstrate what and how to post, the desired length and content of messages, the appropriate tone and writing style, and the use of emoticons and visuals. These elements all contribute to unfolding interaction, and also relate to developing impressions about one’s identity. In online courses, instructors communicate their identities through performative acts including but not limited to their names, titles, affiliations, the tone of the course syllabus, and writing styles (voice). One of the visual identifiers that appear next to one’s name also communicates aspects of identity: a profile photo. People communicate information about themselves through their choice of images and the identity markers within the image (e.g., what you wear, where you look, what you include in and exclude off the frame, who you are with, where you are, what is in the background and how you smile). Based on these identity markers, learners form impressions about the instructor that contribute to their course related-perceptions and expectations. This presentation draws upon findings of an ongoing study and addresses the components of online profile photos and how these components facilitate instructor presence and identity online. This session may provide instructors with useful insights about profile photos. Moreover, this session may also help instructors with constructing instructor presence and identity that they wish to color using their profile photos in an online course context.
Ömer Arslan
Ömer Arslan, Florida State University, FSU
Ömer Arslan is a second-year doctoral student in one of the leading graduate programs; Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies at Florida State University. His interest in online learning began when he was a master’s student in Turkey. He learned about socio-cultural dynamics manifested in learning environments. Currently, he engages in activities that contribute to his personal and professional development inclusive of enrolling in graduate courses, teaching EME2040 Introduction to Educational Technology, participating in research projects, and research group meetings. Ömer is local to Tallahassee, Florida for more than one year, and spends her spare time walking around the lakes, jumping rope, and listening to music.
Session Type
20-Minute Session
All Audiences

A recording of this presentation is available.
Click the button to the right to access the session archive.

Posted in 20-Minute Session and tagged , , , .

Leave a Reply