Tag Archives: research

A New Study Conducted on Social Presence

Krish, Maros, and Stapa just published a study titled “Sociocultural Factors And Social Presence In An Online Learning Environment” in GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies.

The abstract reads:

In a computer supported learning environment both in the synchronous and asynchronous
mode, interaction is a prerequisite to facilitate learning. Hence to facilitate effective
interaction, a good working team of learners and instructors is important. For this to
happen, social presence is necessary to create sound social interaction for instructional
effectiveness. Social presence is the ability of the instructors and learners to project their
physical and emotional presence (Mardziah H. Abdullah (2004). However, the level of
social presence in a virtual learning environment depends on the students’ and
instructors’ sociocultural background. The sociocultural theory in language learning itself
emphasizes the roles of interpersonal interaction rather than intrapersonal interaction.
This article discusses some findings of a study on a computer supported collaborative
learning environment. It shows how distance learners at an institution of higher learning
in Malaysia responded to a questionnaire on the issues of social presence. The postings in
the learner management system (LMS) and data from focus-group interviews were also
analysed and discussed. The findings share some positive responses towards social
presence in a virtual learning environment and calls for a more in-depth inquiry that will
contribute to the literature on online collaborative learning in the Malaysian context.

The article can be accessed at: http://www.ukm.my/ppbl/Gema/GEMA%20vol%2012%20(1)%202012/pp_201_213.pdf

Situational Qualities Exhibited by Exceptional Presenters

Joni Dunlap and I just published an ECAR research bulletin called “Situational Qualities Exhibited by Exceptional Presenters”.

Bad presentations are commonplace, but rather than focus on what is wrong with bad presentations, the authors looked at what makes an exceptional presentation. They referenced recent work on the aesthetic qualities of learning experiences by Patrick Parrish and others, which describe aesthetic learning experiences as those that involve learners in the right level of challenge and heightened engagement. Aesthetic learning experiences are memorable and often transformative, leaving learners with enhanced confidence and capabilities—the very definition of exceptional. By attending to the situational qualities of aesthetic learning experiences, presenters are more likely to create exceptional presentations that establish relevance and engagement—and, therefore, have a better chance at achieving specific learning objectives and outcomes. To do this, the authors identified the most viewed presentations on the TED website as the sample for their study. They created a matrix based on the situational qualities of aesthetic learning experiences and analyzed the top six “most viewed” presentations (as of July 15, 2011).

Citation for this Work: Dunlap, Joanna C., and Patrick R. Lowenthal. “Situational Qualities Exhibited by Exceptional Presenters.” (Research Bulletin). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, October 18, 2011, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.

You can access it here: http://www.educause.edu/Resources/SituationalQualitiesExhibitedb/238961

If you have problems getting it, just let me know and I get you a copy.

Research Articles that Show Distance Education Works

tweeted the following today:

“Asked to create list of research articles, journal articles, or other “credible” evidence that distance ed works. What would you include?”

I have been asked similar questions in the past. While I usually start by saying that as a whole research on distance education and online learning is still in its infancy, the following are a few articles I point to. These tend to be literature reviews or meta-analyses.

  • Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., Wallet, P. A., Fiset, M., & Huang, B. (2004). How Does Distance Education Compare With Classroom Instruction? A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 379-439.
    Retrieved from http://rer.sagepub.com/content/74/3/379.full.pdf+html

  • Tallent-Runnels, M. K., Thomas, J. A., Lan, W. Y., Cooper, S., Ahern, T. C., Shaw, S. M., & Liu, X. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 93-135.
    Retrieved from http://rer.sagepub.com/content/76/1/93.full.pdf+html

  • Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). Going the distance with online education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567-605.
    Retrieved from http://rer.sagepub.com/content/76/4/567.full.pdf+html

  • Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. U.S. Department of Education.
    Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

  • Zhao, Y., J. Lei, B. Yan, C. Lai, & H. S. Tan. (2005). What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. Teachers College Record 107 (8):183684.

Did I miss any? What would you include? Please comment.