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Designing sociable online learning environments and enhancing social presence: An affordance enrichment approach

Published on Jul 1, 2019in Computers in Education
· DOI :10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103622
Joshua Weidlich (FU Hagen: FernUniversität Hagen), Theo Bastiaens18
Estimated H-index: 18
(OU: Open University)
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Abstract
Abstract Due to the unique characteristics of online distance learning, socio-emotional aspects are an important design consideration but, at the same time, often challenging to realize. This study is concerned with the sociability of online learning environments and reports on a field-setting pre-/posttest quasi-experiment (n = 143) with a novel approach to designing sociable learning environments and fostering socio-emotional variables like social presence. After enriching the learning environment with social affordances, technically realized through Moodle plugins (“Meet the Students”, “Course Contacts”, and “Dialogue”), students of a one-month long online course reported the learning environment to be significantly more sociable than in the control condition. Downstream effects on other socio-emotional variables of the SIPS model ( Sociability , Social Interaction , Social Presence , Social Space ) were also observed. Students also reported the learning experience to be more satisfying. Interestingly, actually engaging with the plugins was not related to these perceptions, possibly suggesting a veneer of sociability instead of a deep-seated social fabric. Lastly, we found no effect on learning achievement. These findings are a first step in experimentally validating the ecological approach to designing sociable learning environments. Implications, open questions, and avenues for future research are discussed.
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Published on Mar 19, 2019
Karen Swan23
Estimated H-index: 23
,
Li Fang Shih2
Estimated H-index: 2
“Social presence,” the degree to which participants in computer-mediated communication feel affectively connected one to another, has been shown to be an important factor in student satisfaction and success in online courses. This mixed methods study built on previous research to explore in greater depth the nature of social presence and how it develops in online course discussions. The study combined quantitative analyses of survey results from students enrolled in four online graduate courses,...
Published on Mar 19, 2019
Jennifer C. Richardson20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Purdue University),
Karen Swan23
Estimated H-index: 23
Research has demonstrated that social presence not only affects outcomes but also student, and possibly instructor, satisfaction with a course [1]. Teacher immediacy behaviors and the presence of others are especially important issues for those involved in delivering online education. This study explored the role of social presence in online learning environments and its relationship to students’ perceptions of learning and satisfaction with the instructor. The participants for this study were s...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Internet and Higher Education 5.28
Michael Thai4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Griffith University),
Nicola Sheeran4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Griffith University),
Daniel J. Cummings1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Griffith University)
There is a growing body of research exploring the potential benefits of implementing Facebook groups in the educational domain. The present study contributes to this literature by investigating the impact of having an official course Facebook group on several important outcomes. In a quasi-experiment, students in a second year university course either had access to an official course Facebook group or not, depending on the campus on which they were enrolled. Results indicated that students on th...
Published on Nov 1, 2018in Techtrends
Beth Oyarzun2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte),
Daisyane Barreto1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNCW: University of North Carolina at Wilmington),
Sheri Conklin (UNCW: University of North Carolina at Wilmington)
Instructor social presence involves instructors establishing their presence as “being there” in terms of frequency of communication and interaction with students as well as supporting students throughout the learning process (Lowenthal 2015). Instructor social presence can be constructed and maintained through the design and facilitation of online courses. Studies have indicated that instructor social presence can be correlated with increased learning satisfaction, engagement and achievement as ...
Published on Sep 3, 2018
Karel Kreijns17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Open University in the Netherlands),
Paul A. Kirschner4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Open University in the Netherlands)
The SIPS-model, introduced to emphasize social aspects of online collaborative learning (OCL) expresses the degree to which online environments for collaborative learning support social aspects through social affordances by the sociability attribute. However, OCL-environments are primarily meant to support collaborative learning. Hence, SIPS was extended by adding an educability attribute to express the degree to which these environments have educational affordances for collaborative learning (C...
Jennifer Quong1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Sharla L. Snider5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Texas Woman's University),
Jody O. Early2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UW: University of Washington)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a closed social media platform as an online tool to facilitate interactions among students and faculty participating in online and hyb...
Published on Sep 1, 2018in Computers in Education
Stefan Stürmer16
Estimated H-index: 16
(FU Hagen: FernUniversität Hagen),
Toni Alexander Ihme2
Estimated H-index: 2
(FU Hagen: FernUniversität Hagen)
+ 2 AuthorsMaria-Luisa Barbarino1
Estimated H-index: 1
(FU Hagen: FernUniversität Hagen)
Abstract The main aim of the present research is to introduce and evaluate the effects of a virtual relationship-building program designed to foster social integration among distance education students. To achieve this purpose, the authors developed a Moodle-based adaptation of Aron et al.’s (1997) “fast-friendship procedure.” The evaluation has employed a longitudinal randomized delayed intervention group design with an additional non-random comparison group (intervention groups: N = 855, compa...
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Computers in Education
Sebastian Molinillo5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UMA: University of Málaga),
Rocio Aguilar-Illescas2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UMA: University of Málaga)
+ 1 AuthorsMaría Vallespín-Arán2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UMA: University of Málaga)
Abstract This study examines the influence of social presence, interactions (student-student and teacher-student) and emotional engagement on active learning within the context of social web-based collaborative learning (SWBCL). In order to accomplish this objective, an empirical study was conducted with 416 students from two universities, organized into groups of 4 or 5 students, who were instructed to complete a collaborative project over the course of one semester. At the end of the project, ...
Published on Jul 3, 2018in Distance Education 1.73
Mete Akcaoglu8
Estimated H-index: 8
(GS: Georgia Southern University),
Eunbae Lee6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Catholic University of Korea)
ABSTRACTBuilding interpersonal connections in asynchronous online learning is important, but it is harder to achieve compared to face-to-face learning experiences due to its mostly text-based nature. Facebook is a popular social media platform and has been used as an outside-class communication space in formal learning contexts to supplement cognitive and affective aspects of learning. In this study, we used Facebook groups as supplemental social spaces in two asynchronous online master’s-level ...
Published on Jul 3, 2018in Distance Education 1.73
Patrick R. Lowenthal15
Estimated H-index: 15
(BSU: Boise State University),
Joanna C. Dunlap16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Colorado Denver)
ABSTRACTSocial presence is a popular construct used to describe how people socially interact in online courses. Online educators continue to try different ways to establish and maintain social presence in online courses. However, research to date has not identified which strategies, or types of strategies, are best for establishing social presence. We investigated student perceptions of various strategies of establishing and maintaining social presence using a mixed methods case study approach i...
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