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