Turning the Searchlight on Social Presence in Online Learning Environment: An Empirical Study
Lewis Chongwony, Ohio University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in San Antonio, Texas, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-61-7 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
The makeup and flow of dialogue among learners and instructors, the composition and physical arrangement of the classroom, the creativity and credibility of the instructor are some useful factors that can facilitate learner engagement in f2f environments. It is possible to see, hear, and interpret levels of learner engagement on a continuous and immediate basis in f2f environment. This allows a seasoned instructor to manipulate and adapt his/her teaching strategies to the mood and conditions within the classroom. In an online learning environment the luxury of such tangible clues to learners' level of engagement are non existent, forcing the instructor to rely on intangible cues which are at times difficult to discern. It is against this background that this study expounds the understanding of social presence through empirical means. The findings of the study will highlight how social presence could be tapped to enhance teaching and learning in online environments.
Chongwony, L. (2007). Turning the Searchlight on Social Presence in Online Learning Environment: An Empirical Study. In R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2007--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 261-266). San Antonio, Texas, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).