1st Edition

Social Presence in Online Learning Multiple Perspectives on Practice and Research

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    Published in Association with 2020 AECT Division of Distance Learning Book AwardSocial presence continues to emerge as a key factor for successful online and blended learning experiences. It is commonly described as the degree to which online participants feel connected to one another. Understanding social presence—with its critical connections to community-building, retention, and learning outcomes—allows faculty and instructional designers to better support and engage students. This volume, Social Presence in Online Learning, addresses the evolution of social presence with three distinct perspectives, outlines the relevant research, and focuses on practical strategies that can immediately impact the teaching and learning experience. These strategies include creating connections to build community, applying content to authentic situations, integrating a careful mix of tools and media, leveraging reflective and interactive opportunities, providing early and continuous feedback, designing with assessment in mind, and encouraging change in small increments. Because student satisfaction and motivation plays a key role in retention rates and because increased social presence often leads to enriched learning experiences, it is advantageous to mindfully integrate social presence into learning environments.Social Presence in Online Learning brings together eminent scholars in the field to distinguish among three different perspectives of social presence and to address how these viewpoints immediately inform practice. This important volume: • Provides an overview of the evolution of social presence, key findings from social presence research, and practical strategies that can improve the online and blended learning experience• Differentiates three distinct perspectives on social presence and explains the ideas and models that inform these perspectives• Explores specific ways in which social presence relates to course satisfaction, retention, and outcomes• Offers practical implications and ready-to-use techniques that are applicable to multiple disciplines• Introduces current research on social presence by prominent researchers in the field with direct inferences to the practice of online and blended learning • Looks at future directions for social presenceSocial Presence in Online Learning is appropriate for practitioners, researchers and academics involved in any level of online learning program design, course design, instruction, support, and leadership as well as for graduate students studying educational technology, technology-enhanced learning, and online and blended learning. It brings together multiple perspectives on social presence from the most influential scholars in the field to help shape the future of online and blended learning.

    Series Foreword—Michael Grahame Moore, Series Editor Foreword—Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena Acknowledgements Part One. Introduction to Social Presence in Online Learning 1. Multiple Perspectives on Social Presence in Online Learning. An Introduction to This Volume—Karen Swan 2. Social Presence. Understanding Connections Among Definitions, Theory, Measurements, and Practice—Amy Garrett Dikkers, Aimee L. Whiteside, and Bethany Tap Part Two. Understanding Social Presence as Technologically Facilitated 3. Understanding Social Presence as Technologically Facilitated. Introduction to Part Two—Karen Swan 4. Social Presence and Communication Technologies. Tales of Trial and Error—Patrick Lowenthal and Dave Mulder 5. Evolvements of Social Presence in Open and Networked Learning Environments—Chih-Hsiung Tu Part Three. Understanding Social Presence as Learners' Perceptions 6. Understanding Social Presence as Learners’ Perceptions. Introduction to Part Three—Karen Swan 7. Social Presence and the Community of Inquiry Framework—Karen Swan and Jennifer C. Richardson 8. Social Presence and Student Success. Retention, Satisfaction, and Evolving Expectations—Phil Ice, Melissa Layne, and Wally Boston 9. Instructor Social Presence. Learners' Needs and a Neglected Component of the Community of Inquiry Framework—Jennifer C. Richardson and Patrick Lowenthal 10. Creating Social Cues through Self-Disclosures, Stories, and Paralanguage. The Importance of Modeling High Social Presence Behaviors in Online Courses—Jessica Gordon 11. Cultural Perspectives on Social Presence. Research and Practical Guidelines for Online Design—Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena Part Four. Understanding Social Presence as a Critical Literacy 12. Understanding Social Presence as a Critical Literacy. Introduction to Part Four—Aimee L. Whiteside 13. Making Learning Relevant and Meaningful. Integrating Social Presence into Faculty Professional Development Programs—Aimee L. Whiteside 14. Blending Face-to-Face and Online Instruction to Disrupt Learning, Inspire Reflection, and Create Space for Innovation—Amy Garrett Dikkers, Aimee L. Whiteside, and Somer Lewis 15. Personalized Learning to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners—Somer Lewis, Amy Garrett Dikkers and Aimee L. Whiteside 16. Overcoming Isolation Online. Strategies to Enhance Social Presence in Practice—Aimee L. Whiteside, Amy Garrett Dikkers, and Somer LewisSection V. Concluding Thoughts 17. Future Directions for Social Presence. Shared Metacognition, Emerging Technologies, and the New Educational Ecosystem—Jason C. Vickers and Peter Shea 18. The Future of Social Presence. Advancing Research, Uniting the Perspectives, and Allowing for Innovation in Practice—Aimee L. Whiteside, Karen Swan, and Amy Garrett Dikkers Editors and Contributors Index


    Aimee L. Whiteside is an assistant professor at the University of Tampa where she previously served as interim co-director for her university’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include social presence, blended and online learning, technology-enhanced learning, experiential learning, academic-community partnerships, and professional writing. She has been featured in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Interactive Online Learning (JIOL), Online Learning Journal (OLJ), International Journal of E-Learning and Distance Education (IJEDE), EDUCAUSE Review, and the Online Learning Consortium’s Effective Practices. Additionally, she has written chapters in several books, such as Emotions, Technology, and Learning and Computer-Mediated Communication across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments as well as chapters in special volumes in the Advances in Research on Teaching and the New Directions in Teaching and Learning series. Amy Garrett Dikkers is an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She studies online and blended learning across the spectrum of Pk-20 educational organizations. To date she has over 20 publications that examine the value of online and technology-enhanced education for diverse populations of students and the teachers who work with them. Karen Swan is the Stukel Professor of Educational Research at the University of Illinois Springfield. For the past 20 years, she has been teaching online, and researching online learning. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Award and she received the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) award for outstanding individual achievement and the Burks Oakley II distinguished online teaching award for her work in this area, and is an OLC Fellow and a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena is Regents’ Professor of Distance Edu

    "Social Presence in Online Learning represents the most comprehensive research to application effort so necessary in the field of online learning. From Dr. Michael Moore’s hopeful Foreword through chapters on establishing foundational language, the applications to blended learning, personalized learning, and the role of supporting technologies, this work covers the breadth, depth, and promise of social presence in any instructional format! A must have for anyone desiring to craft an engaged and connected online learning community."

    Lawrence C. Ragan, the Center for Online Innovation in Learning

    Penn State University

    "The principals of this book are leaders in the field and this thoughtfully crafted collection of research and best practices related to social presence is impressive. These scholars, along with the distinguished authors of the chapters, have presented compelling guidance that bolsters this foundation of online learning. I strongly encourage educators to explore the insight shared in this extraordinary volume to inform their practice to the ultimate benefit of faculty and students."

    Eric Fredericksen, Associate Vice President for Online Learning & Associate Professor in Educational Leadership

    University of Rochester, Vice President of the Board for Directors for the Online Learning

    "Social Presence in Online Learning is of great importance to those in the field of online and blended learning. The insights provided in this book make it clear that social presence represents an essential element of any collaborative learning experience – online and otherwise. The comprehensive treatment of the social presence construct makes this book an key resource for those interested in online learning.

    My congratulations to Aimee Whiteside, Amy Dikkers, and Karen Swan."

    D. Randy Garrison, Professor Emeritus

    University of Calgary

    "Social presence is widely recognized as an important strategy in developing online and blended learning environments. The high quality research and practical applications explored in this book inform educators and ensure that social presence is well-understood. My congratulations to the authors for illuminating the intricacies and nuances of this critical pedagogical approach."

    Anthony G. Picciano, Professor and Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Urban Education

    Graduate Center of the City University of New York and Hunter College