Tag Archives: Social Presence

Getting to Know You: The First Week of Class and Beyond

Check Out! Chapter 10: Getting to Know You: The First Week of Class and Beyond

Joanna C. Dunlap & Patrick R. Lowenthal

“The first week of class… whether on-campus or online, we always plan a few orientation and get-to-know-you activities in an attempt to get our courses off on the right foot. One thing we have learned about these types of activities is that they
cannot—and should not—take place only during the first week of a class. To really support students and help build a productive online learning community, these types of activities need to occur throughout the semester. Below are a few activities we have
used to help students get oriented to and familiar with the course structure and materials, their course colleagues, and us…”

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Article Review – Social Presence within the Community of Inquiry Framework

Check out a new article review by D. R. Garrison of “Social Presence within the Community of Inquiry Framework”

Garrison begins “At the outset, I want to thank David Annand (2011) for his interest in the community of inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework. We welcome all constructive efforts to address its validity and give direction to future study. Moreover, Annand is quite right to address the validity and function of the social presence (SP) construct. I have stated previously “there is much to understand with regard to the construct itself and its relationship to the other presences” (Garrison, 2011, p.35). While there is need of research into this construct, I do not agree with Annand that the CoI framework “does not adequately inform the development of online education theory and practice” (p. 40), and, specifically, that the influence of social presence (SP) is overstated. I argue that much work remains in refining and understanding SP within the CoI framework but that it is an essential construct in a collaborative constructive approach to learning.”

Read more: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1184/2099

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

“Social Presence within the Community of Inquiry Framework”

A new article was published by David Annand called: “Social Presence within the Community of Inquiry Framework”.


The role of social presence as defined by the community of inquiry (CoI) framework is critiqued through a review of recent literature. Evidence is presented that questions the actual extent of knowledge co-construction that occurs in most higher education settings and therefore challenges the framework’s underlying assumption of the need for sustained, contiguous, two-way communication in higher-level online learning environments. The CoI framework has evolved from the description of a learning process within a social constructivist paradigm to an empirically testable construct in an objectivist paradigm. Related research results indicate that social presence does not impact cognitive presence in a meaningful way and that best teaching practices suggested by CoI-based studies are informed by objectivist, cognitively oriented learning theories. These suggest that higher-order cognition may be achieved through wide and varied combinations of learner–teacher, learner–content, and learner–learner interaction. Controlled studies can and should be undertaken to compare learning outcomes using sustained, contiguous, two-way communication to other learning models. To facilitate this, subcategories of social and teaching presences need to be revamped and analysis adjusted to separate processes that support explicitly group-based learning activities from those used by individual students.

Read it here: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/924/1855

The Online Learning Idea Book, Vol. 2

Book Cover of Online Learning Idea BookPatti Shank’s “The Online Learning Idea Book: Vol. 2” is hitting the shelves in the next few days.

Be sure to check out.  As mentioned in the following release note:

“In this second volume of The Online Learning Idea Book you will find brand new and valuable ideas that you can adopt or adapt in your own instructional materials, to make them more dynamic and more worthwhile for learners and learning. These ideas will let you peek over the shoulders of some of the world’s most creative instructors, instructional designers and developers, trainers, media developers, and others in order to help spark creative ideas of your own.

This hands-on resource will help you build online instructional materials or improve existing materials including online courses, modules, activities, or supplementary materials for classroom-based courses.

This book provides great tips, techniques, and tricks in the following areas: The Design and Development Process, Supporting Learning, Synchronous and Interpersonal Activities, Asynchronous and Self- Paced Activities, and NS Better Media.

Within these pages you will discover creative ways to give your online and blended instruction a boost by adopting and adapting great ideas from others.”

For more on the book, see:  Online Learning Idea Book  or visit Amazon.