Creating Social Presence Through Online Discussion Forums
Ardelle Pate, Sharon Smaldino, Dominican University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Charleston, SC, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-67-9 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Working within the parameters of an online graduate course, this paper deals with the interactions within required academic discussion forums, optional academic discussions forums, and an optional non-academic social discussion forum. As research demonstrates, the dynamics of a group affect one’s attitude and action within a learning environment. To help alleviate the feelings of isolation, the design of instruction in one specific online course has included not only academic discussion forums that are opportunities for students to interact, but also optional academic discussion forums and an optional non-academic social discussion forum. This study demonstrates that even though students appreciated the optional social forum, this forum may be extraneous and unnecessary and in some cases superfluous. This research study determined that by using both academic and optional discussion forums within an online environment, an instructor could create a learning environment in which learning and cognitive development are not separated from the social context.
Pate, A. & Smaldino, S. (2009). Creating Social Presence Through Online Discussion Forums. In I. Gibson, R. Weber, K. McFerrin, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2009--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2636-2651). Charleston, SC, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).