Social Presence in Online Learning
Multiple Perspectives on Practice and Research

Paper: 978 1 62036 509 0 / $35.00
Published: May 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 508 3 / $95.00
Published: May 2017  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 510 6 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: June 2017  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 511 3 / $27.99
Published: June 2017  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
256 pp., 7" x 10"
20 figures

Series: Online Learning and Distance Education
Published in Association with The Online Learning Consortium.

Social 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 presence

Social 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.

Table of Contents:
Series Foreword—Michael Grahame Moore, Series Editor
Foreword—Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena

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 Lewis

Section 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

Chapter 16

Reviews & Endorsements:
"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