With the increasing need to understand pedagogy online, but also with the understanding that the role of designated leaders in online communities has not been examined, the paper presents a study that aims to examine how instructors in online learning platforms may impact, through their presence, participants’ online engagement. The theoretical foundations of the study are based on a typology of different types of leaders’ presence in the online context. In this research in progress paper, the research design of the study is described and expected contributions in the areas of online communities and eLearning are identified.