How Non-Content Related Forums Influence Social Presence in the Online Learning Environment
Simone Conceição, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ; Steve Schmidt, East Carolina University
Indian Journal of Open Learning Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 0971-2690 Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University
Non-content related forums in online learning environments are often used for logistical purposes and they involve student-student and student-instructor interactions. In this paper, we address non-content related forums as influencers of social presence in the online learning evironment. This study examined a variety of logistical-type of forums to develop a better understanding of the concept of social presence. Based on data taken from eight online courses, findings show that non-content related forums influence social presence based on the affective content of postings, individual leadership of students, common bond among group members, empathy, and message timing. Suggestions on how to design less formal discussion areas for non-content related purposes are recommended.
Conceição, S. & Schmidt, S. (2010). How Non-Content Related Forums Influence Social Presence in the Online Learning Environment. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 19(2), 73-85. Indira Gandhi National Open University.