Social Presence

I like what Moon has to say about Social Presence and the disconnect between student appreciation for social presence – high classroom satisfaction – and student performance with social presence – no significant improvement in student performance.

It seems intuitive that better social presence would lead to higher classroom satisfaction and that higher classroom satisfaction should translate into higher student performance. I do not doubt the research on student performance being unconnected to social presence, but as I think about it and how it really is counter-intuitive I am beginning to wonder if that might indicate that we are not measuring the right things as we track student performance.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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3 Responses to Social Presence

  1. Nate says:

    I think the larger issue is that so many OTHER things influence outcomes that Social Presence fails to rise above the noise. My research in SP showed that it’s inversely related to perception of distance in online classes, but I don’t know of any research that has shown a correlation between perceptions of distance and outcomes, either.

    Perhaps the value here is in encouraging persistance in borderline students so that the students are all still there at the end of the semester and doing no better and no worse than anybody else. If they have higher classroom satisfaction, it probably means they’re less likely to drop the class.

  2. David says:

    “Less likely to drop out of the class” is obviously a good benefit to the class. As for the issue of rising above the noise, I guess each researcher has to decide which factors are the most important to focus on. Hopefully we eventually learn shich factors really make the most difference.

    Thanks for the input.

  3. Nate says:

    I’d bet on Dialog, Social Presence, and Fluency.

    And we need to figure out a definition for “performance.” 😀

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