The Development of Perceptions of Social Presence in Online Course Discussions
Karen Swan, Research Center for Educational Technology, United States ; Li Fang Shih, University at Albany, Taiwan
EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-56-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
This mixed methods study explores how social presence is developed in online course discussions. The study combines quantitative analyses of survey results from students enrolled in four online graduate courses, and qualitative comparisons of selected students with the highest and lowest social presence scores. Quantitative results reveal significant correlations between social presence and student satisfaction measures, and tease apart the respective influences of the perceived presence of instructors and peers. The findings indicate that perceived presence of instructors is a more influential factor in determining student perceptions than perceived presence of peers. Qualitative findings support these results, reveal that students perceiving the highest social presence also projected themselves more into online discussion, and highlight meaningful differences in perceptions of the usefulness of online discussion between students perceiving high and low social presence.
Swan, K. & Shih, L.F. (2005). The Development of Perceptions of Social Presence in Online Course Discussions. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2005--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 836-843). Montreal, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2005 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)