Social Presence in Online Courses: An Examination of Perceived Learning  and Satisfaction A Dissertation Defense  by Nasri...
Committee Members <ul><li>Dissertation Chair: </li></ul><ul><li>William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Dissertat...
Dissertation Defense Format <ul><li>What is Social Presence? </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of the Problem </li></ul><ul><li>...
Social Presence <ul><li>According to Short (1976), the degree to which a person  is perceived as “real” in mediated commun...
Statement of The Problem <ul><li>Online education is the fastest growing segment of the higher education industry. This gr...
Subjects of the Study <ul><li>The study was conducted on students enrolled in online courses in the Department of Business...
Purpose of the Study <ul><li>The purpose of the study is to examine the role of social presence in online courses at a com...
Instrumentation <ul><li>After careful analysis of several developed instruments, a modified instrument consisting of 48 qu...
Instrumentation <ul><li>The instrument was placed with Wonder Survey Inc. Students logged on to the Wonder Survey web site...
Research Methodology <ul><li>Data-Analytic Methods used:  </li></ul><ul><li>1. Descriptive Statistics  </li></ul><ul><li>2...
Research Question # 1 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>Does the online learning experience contribute to feelings of isol...
Research Question # 2 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>What factors influence student satisfaction in online classes?  </...
Research Question # 3 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>Is the online learning experience detrimental to students’ motivat...
Research Question # 4 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>What factors influence learning outcomes? According to my research...
Research Question # 5 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>Is perceived learning related to social presence? </li></ul><ul><l...
Research Question # 6 and  Summary of Findings  <ul><li>What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of online educatio...
Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 01 . There is no statistically significant difference between the personal experience of the onl...
Ho 2 . There is no statistically significant relationship between labor force  activity, as measured by average weekly hou...
Does the decision to take  another  online course depend on labor force activity?   Answer: No <ul><li>Table 5 </li></ul><...
Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 03 . There is no statistically significant relationship between commuting time to school and the...
H0 3 . There is no statistically   significant relationship between commuting time to school and the decision to enroll in...
Commuting time and the willingness to take another online course (No Relationship is Found).   <ul><li>Table 7 </li></ul><...
Explaining the decision to enroll in online courses <ul><li>Table 8. </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________...
Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the ed...
H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between  student satisfaction with the educational experience an...
H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and...
H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and...
H 05 . There is no statistical evidence that students feel isolated by the online experience (Rejected t = -4.52). <ul><li...
Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 05 . There is no statistical evidence that students feel isolated by the online experience (Reje...
Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 07 . There is no statistical evidence that students find the online medium to be threatening (Re...
Table 9. Focuses on Perceived Satisfaction with the Educational Experience in Relation to Social Presence <ul><li>Table 9 ...
Table 9. Description <ul><li>1. Students rated their overall educational experience in taking an online course as follows:...
Table 10. Description <ul><li>1. The difference between each group mean and those who rated their experience as poor, the ...
Table 10:Results <ul><li>The main characteristics that distinguish the poor raters from the other four groups are as follo...
Table 11. Focuses on Perceived Learning in Relation to Social Presence <ul><li>Table 11 shows descriptive statistics (mean...
Table 11 <ul><li>Students rated the amount they learned in the online course as follows: Increased (29%), Increased Somewh...
Table 12 <ul><li>1. The difference between each group mean and those who said that the amount learned decreased, the bench...
Table 12: Results <ul><li>The main characteristics that distinguish the “least learners” from the other four groups are as...
Overall Results <ul><li>The results in tables 11 & 12 confirm those reported in tables 9 and 10, and provide statistically...
Conclusions <ul><li>This work shows that in a statistically significant proportion of online students: </li></ul><ul><li>T...
Recommendations <ul><li>1. Training classes to prepare instructors to design quality online courses </li></ul><ul><li>2. A...
Recommendations for Further Study <ul><li>1. A study should be conducted to include a larger sample of students in the Lon...
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Dr. Nasrin Nazemzadeh, PhD Dissertation Defense, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair

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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Dissertation Chair for Dr. Nasrin Nazemzadeh, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU, Member of the Texas A&M University System.

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Dr. Nasrin Nazemzadeh, PhD Dissertation Defense, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair

  1. 1. Social Presence in Online Courses: An Examination of Perceived Learning and Satisfaction A Dissertation Defense by Nasrin Nazemzadeh Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. Prairie View A & M University Educational Leadership November 2008
  2. 2. Committee Members <ul><li>Dissertation Chair: </li></ul><ul><li>William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Dissertation Committee: </li></ul><ul><li>David Herrington, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Solomon Osho, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Tyrone Tanner, Ph.D </li></ul>
  3. 3. Dissertation Defense Format <ul><li>What is Social Presence? </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of the Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Subject of Study </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of the Study </li></ul><ul><li>Instrumentation </li></ul><ul><li>Research Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Research Questions and Summery of Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Null Hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations for Further Study </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social Presence <ul><li>According to Short (1976), the degree to which a person is perceived as “real” in mediated communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Short, Williams & Christie (1976), Interaction between instructors </li></ul><ul><li>and students, & among students </li></ul><ul><li>2. Mediated Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Those communications that occur via computer mediated (i.e., discussion board, e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>and chat rooms) between two or more individuals </li></ul><ul><li>3. Immediacy </li></ul><ul><li>Anderson (1979), Those nonverbal behaviors that reduce physical </li></ul><ul><li>and/or psychological distance between teachers and students </li></ul><ul><li>4. Reciprocal Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Rafaeli (1998), Not only the presence of interactivity but also a recognition and </li></ul><ul><li>awareness of the interactivity by participants </li></ul><ul><li>5. Connectedness </li></ul><ul><li>Rovai (2001), Sense of involvement and engagement </li></ul>
  5. 5. Statement of The Problem <ul><li>Online education is the fastest growing segment of the higher education industry. This growth is global. Spague (2007) projects that enrollment in distance-teaching institutions will grow to 120 million by the year 2025. Two year colleges have recognized the importance of online education to their long term growth strategies more than other types of institutions. Therefore, it is important to investigate if this growth will compound the educational deficits that have been documented in traditional education. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Subjects of the Study <ul><li>The study was conducted on students enrolled in online courses in the Department of Business and Technology at Lone Star College-Tomball in Tomball, Texas. The results of the study may be generalized to the population of students at Lone Star College-Tomball. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Purpose of the Study <ul><li>The purpose of the study is to examine the role of social presence in online courses at a community college. Specifically, the study examines the relationship of social presence in online courses to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction with their educational experience. The result of this study will help educational leaders to utilize more effectively the online instruction. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Instrumentation <ul><li>After careful analysis of several developed instruments, a modified instrument consisting of 48 questions was selected. This minimized the need for validation. The first 42 questions are multiple-choice, and the last six require written responses. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Instrumentation <ul><li>The instrument was placed with Wonder Survey Inc. Students logged on to the Wonder Survey web site where they directly answered the questions and submitted the results electronically to Wonder Survey. A total of 150 students, 52.1% of the invited students completed the survey. Wonder Survey tabulated the responses and provided the results. The questions and the choices were relabeled for convenience. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Research Methodology <ul><li>Data-Analytic Methods used: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Descriptive Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>2. ANOVA </li></ul><ul><li>3. Multiple Regression Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>4. Logit Analysis of Binary Dependent Variable Models . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research Question # 1 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>Does the online learning experience contribute to feelings of isolation among students? </li></ul><ul><li>My research shows that 32% of the respondents indicated that they felt isolated. This proportion is significantly different from zero as evidenced from a t-stat = 8.4, and its P-value = 0.000. Moreover, the greater the prevalence of these feelings, the less satisfied students typically are, and the less they perceive to learn. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Research Question # 2 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>What factors influence student satisfaction in online classes? </li></ul><ul><li>Listed in table 9 </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor’s social presence </li></ul><ul><li>The extent to which students feel they are part of a group, and </li></ul><ul><li>Effective communication with the instructor and with other students </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that detract from it are : </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling threatened, </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling isolated, and </li></ul><ul><li>Missing not seeing and hearing the instructor </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research Question # 3 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>Is the online learning experience detrimental to students’ motivation? The related item in the instrument reads: The online course stimulated my desire to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>According to my research, overall, 66% agreed with the statement and 34% disagreed. The proportion that disagreed is significantly different from zero, t-stat = 8.76, probability value = 0.000. A significant proportion of students report that the online course did not stimulate their desire to learn. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Research Question # 4 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>What factors influence learning outcomes? According to my research: </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling part of a group </li></ul><ul><li>Being able to communicate with other students and with the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Learning about the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling isolated </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Missing not seeing and hearing the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>The motivation to participate. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Research Question # 5 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>Is perceived learning related to social presence? </li></ul><ul><li>The evidence in Tables 11 and 12 shows that a statistically significant proportion of those reporting decreased learning, missed not seeing and hearing the instructor, reported decreased quantity and quality of interaction with the instructor and with students, expressed feelings of isolation, were less motivated to learn, and learned less about the instructor. All of the above are components of the larger picture of social presence. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Research Question # 6 and Summary of Findings <ul><li>What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of online education? </li></ul><ul><li>The main perceived strength is flexibility: Ninety-four % of the respondents in this study indicated that they took the online course because it allowed more flexibility in time management. Consistent with this finding, the overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they are willing to take another online course. </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: The results also indicate that the respondents missed not seeing and hearing the instructor, felt isolated and threatened, were less motivated to learn, were less satisfied with the educational experience, reported that the amount learned decreased, their motivation to participate decreased, the amount and quality of interaction with the instructor and students decreased, and the online course did not provide an educational experience similar to the classroom . </li></ul>
  17. 17. Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 01 . There is no statistically significant difference between the personal experience of the online course and that of the classroom. (Rejected). </li></ul><ul><li>H 02 . There is no statistically significant relationship between labor force activity as measured by average weekly hours of work, and the decision to enroll in online courses. (Not Rejected) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Ho 2 . There is no statistically significant relationship between labor force activity, as measured by average weekly hours of work, and the decision to enroll in online courses (Not Rejected). <ul><li>Table 4 </li></ul><ul><li>________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Hours/Week Percent of Respondents t-Stat P-value </li></ul><ul><li>_________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>1-10 18.7 -1.12 0.26 </li></ul><ul><li>11-20 14.0 -2.22 0.03 </li></ul><ul><li>21-30 10.7 -3.09 0.00 </li></ul><ul><li>31-40 32.7 1.66 0.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 40 24.0 </li></ul><ul><li>The decision to enroll in online classes is not systematically related to hours worked per week. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Does the decision to take another online course depend on labor force activity? Answer: No <ul><li>Table 5 </li></ul><ul><li>_______________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Hours/Wk Percent of respondents willing t-Stat P-value </li></ul><ul><li> to take another online course __________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>1-10 89 -0.75 .46 </li></ul><ul><li>11-20 95 0.11 .92 </li></ul><ul><li>21-30 94 -0.08 .93 </li></ul><ul><li>31-40 90 -0.77 .44 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 40 94 </li></ul><ul><li>The difference in means is not statistically significant at .05 and .01 level. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 03 . There is no statistically significant relationship between commuting time to school and the decision to enroll in online courses (Not Rejected). </li></ul>
  21. 21. H0 3 . There is no statistically significant relationship between commuting time to school and the decision to enroll in online courses (Not Rejected). <ul><li>Table 6 </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________________________________ _ </li></ul><ul><li>Commuting Time Percent of </li></ul><ul><li>(minutes) Respondents </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________________________________ _ </li></ul><ul><li>0-15 44 </li></ul><ul><li>16-30 30.7 </li></ul><ul><li>31-45 17.3 </li></ul><ul><li>46-60 5.3 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 60 2.7 </li></ul><ul><li>Contrary to expectations, commuting time does not systematically relate to the decision to enroll online. Evidently, 74% percent of the students live within a short distance from the school. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Commuting time and the willingness to take another online course (No Relationship is Found). <ul><li>Table 7 </li></ul><ul><li>____________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Commuting Time Percent of respondents willing t-Stat P-value </li></ul><ul><li>(minutes) to take another online course </li></ul><ul><li>________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>0-15 95 -0.33 .74 </li></ul><ul><li>16-30 96 -0.32 .74 </li></ul><ul><li>31-45 73 -1.91 .06 </li></ul><ul><li>46-60 100 0.00 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Over 60 100 </li></ul><ul><li>There is no statistically significant relationship between commuting time and the willingness to take another online course . </li></ul>
  23. 23. Explaining the decision to enroll in online courses <ul><li>Table 8. </li></ul><ul><li>__________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Took the online course primarily because it allowed me more flexibility in managing my time and schedule </li></ul><ul><li>________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Strongly agree 64% </li></ul><ul><li>Agree 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Strongly disagree 0.7% </li></ul><ul><li>Disagree 5% </li></ul><ul><li>The overriding motivation for taking online courses is flexibility in managing time. Ninety-four percent of respondents say so. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and the instructor’s social presence (Rejected). </li></ul>
  25. 25. H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and the instructor’s social presence (Rejected, t-stat = -4.43). <ul><li>Modeling Satisfaction with the Educational Experience by Logit </li></ul><ul><li>The estimation sample is 1 – 150. </li></ul><ul><li>_______________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Coefficient Std.Error t-value t-prob </li></ul><ul><li>Constant 1.35239 0.2897 4.67 0.000 </li></ul><ul><li>miss -1.64007 0.3701 -4.43 0.000 </li></ul><ul><li>log-likelihood -89.6610156 no. of states 2 </li></ul><ul><li>no. of observations 150 no. of parameters 2 ______________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>The dependent variable equals one if the respondent selected excellent, very good, or good and equals zero otherwise. The independent variable, ‘miss’ equals one if respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they missed not seeing and hearing the instructor. The t-stat of the coefficient is negative and highly significant, thus decisively rejecting the null hypothesis . </li></ul>
  26. 26. H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and the instructor’s social presence (Rejected, t-stat = 2.82). <ul><li>Modeling Satisfaction with the Educational Experience by Logit </li></ul><ul><li>The estimation sample is 1 – 150 </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Coefficient Std.Error t-value t-prob </li></ul><ul><li>Constant 2.37308e-016 0.2236 0.00 1.000 </li></ul><ul><li>ins 0.987387 0.3496 2.82 0.005 </li></ul><ul><li>log-likelihood -96.3789935 no. of states 2 </li></ul><ul><li>no. of observations 150 no. of parameters 2 </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>The dependent variable equals one if the respondent selected excellent, very good, or good and equals zero otherwise. The independent variable, ‘ins’ equals one if respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they learned a great deal about the instructor. The t-stat of the coefficient is positive and highly significant, thus decisively rejecting the null hypothesis. </li></ul>
  27. 27. H 04 . There is no statistically significant relationship between student satisfaction with the educational experience and the social presence (Rejected, t= 3.67). <ul><li>Modeling Satisfaction with the Educational Experience by Logit </li></ul><ul><li>The estimation sample is 1 – 150 </li></ul><ul><li>______________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Coefficient Std.Error t-value t-prob </li></ul><ul><li>Constant -0.374693 0.2770 -1.35 0.178 </li></ul><ul><li>group 1.31296 0.3581 3.67 0.000 </li></ul><ul><li>log-likelihood -93.5351378 no. of states 2 </li></ul><ul><li>no. of observations 150 no. of parameters 2 </li></ul><ul><li>___________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>The dependent variable equals one if the respondent selected excellent, very good, or good and equals zero otherwise. The independent variable, ‘group’ equals one if respondents strongly agreed or agreed that even though they were not physically in a traditional classroom they still felt that they were part of a group. The t-stat of the coefficient is positive and highly significant, thus decisively rejecting the null hypothesis . </li></ul>
  28. 28. H 05 . There is no statistical evidence that students feel isolated by the online experience (Rejected t = -4.52). <ul><li>Modeling Satisfaction with Educational Experience by Logit </li></ul><ul><li>The estimation sample is 1 – 150 </li></ul><ul><li>_______________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Coefficient Std.Error t-value t-prob </li></ul><ul><li>Constant 1.02165 0.2244 4.55 0.000 </li></ul><ul><li>isol -1.71480 0.3796 -4.52 0.000 </li></ul><ul><li>log-likelihood -89.5007031 no. of states 2 </li></ul><ul><li>no. of observations 150 no. of parameters 2 </li></ul><ul><li>_________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>The dependent variable equals one if the respondent selected excellent, very good, or good and equals zero otherwise. The independent variable, ‘isol’ equals one if respondents strongly agreed with feelings of isolation while taking an online course. The t-stat of the coefficient is negative and highly significant, thus decisively rejecting the null hypothesis. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 05 . There is no statistical evidence that students feel isolated by the online experience (Rejected). </li></ul><ul><li>H 06 . There is no statistical evidence that students find the online medium to be a poor way to communicate with the instructor (Rejected). </li></ul>
  30. 30. Null Hypotheses <ul><li>H 07 . There is no statistical evidence that students find the online medium to be threatening (Rejected). </li></ul><ul><li>H 08 . There is no statistically significant relationship between perceived learning and social presence in online education (Rejected) . </li></ul>
  31. 31. Table 9. Focuses on Perceived Satisfaction with the Educational Experience in Relation to Social Presence <ul><li>Table 9 shows descriptive statistics (means), i.e., the percent of students who rated their overall educational experience in the online course in relation to social presence and perceived satisfaction. Twenty-two questions from the instrument were selected for this purpose . </li></ul>
  32. 32. Table 9. Description <ul><li>1. Students rated their overall educational experience in taking an online course as follows: Excellent (17%), Very Good (19%), Good (24%), Satisfactory (31%), and Poor (8%). </li></ul><ul><li>Question 1, column 2 shows that 50% of the students who rated their educational experience as excellent agreed with the statement “Learned a great deal about the instructor.” As we move to the right we find the following numbers: 66, 52, 40, and 0. </li></ul><ul><li>We observe a tendency for the proportion of students who learned a great deal about the instructor, to decrease as their perception of the educational experience worsens. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Table 10. Description <ul><li>1. The difference between each group mean and those who rated their experience as poor, the benchmark group, is examined and t-stats and p-values were calculated in order to test the null hypothesis that the difference in group means is zero. </li></ul><ul><li>2. In question 1 (Learned a great deal about the instructor), the t-stats shown in columns 2, 3, 4 & 5, are significant, indicating that we reject the null hypothesis that the difference in each group mean relative to poor raters is zero . </li></ul>
  34. 34. Table 10:Results <ul><li>The main characteristics that distinguish the poor raters from the other four groups are as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Students tend to feel threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Students tend to feel isolated </li></ul><ul><li>They miss not seeing and hearing the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>They do not feel part of group </li></ul><ul><li>They are less motivated to participate and to learn, and in fact they report decreased learning </li></ul><ul><li>They see the online educational experience as very different from that of the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, they were much less likely to enjoy the online course. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Table 11. Focuses on Perceived Learning in Relation to Social Presence <ul><li>Table 11 shows descriptive statistics (means), i.e., the percent of students who rated the amount learned in the online course in relation to social presence. Nineteen questions from the instrument were selected for this purpose. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Table 11 <ul><li>Students rated the amount they learned in the online course as follows: Increased (29%), Increased Somewhat (10%), No Change (38%), Decreased Somewhat (16%), and Decreased (7%). </li></ul><ul><li>Column 2 shows that of those students indicating that the amount learned increased, only 37% missed the instructor’s presence, as compared to 63% of those reporting that the amount learned decreased somewhat (column 5), and 100% of those who indicated that the amount learned decreased (column 6). </li></ul><ul><li>We observe an inverse relationship between perceived learning and social presence; specifically, as perceived learning decreases, a larger percentage of students missed the instructor’s presence. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Table 12 <ul><li>1. The difference between each group mean and those who said that the amount learned decreased, the benchmark group, is examined and t-stats and p-values were calculated in order to test whether the difference in means is statistically significant. </li></ul><ul><li>2. In question 1 (Learned a great deal about the instructor), columns 2, 3, 4 & 5, the t-stats are significant, indicating that we reject the null hypothesis that the difference in each group mean relative to the benchmark group is zero. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Table 12: Results <ul><li>The main characteristics that distinguish the “least learners” from the other four groups are as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Students tend to feel threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Students tend to feel isolated </li></ul><ul><li>They missed not seeing and hearing the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>They do not feel part of group </li></ul><ul><li>Are less motivated to participate and to learn </li></ul><ul><li>The online educational experience is very different from that of the classroom. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Overall Results <ul><li>The results in tables 11 & 12 confirm those reported in tables 9 and 10, and provide statistically significant evidence that educational outcomes are adversely affected by a diminution of social presence in online classes. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Conclusions <ul><li>This work shows that in a statistically significant proportion of online students: </li></ul><ul><li>The motivation to learn decreases </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to feel isolated </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Miss not seeing and hearing the instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Find the online medium to be a poor way to communicate and interact with others, and </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, the report shows a decrease in perceived learning. </li></ul><ul><li>All of the above underscore the importance of social presence in online education. This is an important issue that educational leaders should take into account. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Recommendations <ul><li>1. Training classes to prepare instructors to design quality online courses </li></ul><ul><li>2. Alerting students about the negative aspects of online learning and how to overcome them </li></ul><ul><li>3. Pre-testing students to determine if they are ready to tackle online courses </li></ul><ul><li>4. Instructors should encourage students to interact with others by assigning group projects, case studies and discussion questions via chat-room and discussion board </li></ul><ul><li>5. Instructors must have an active participation rule in classes in a way that students feel the instructor’s social presence </li></ul><ul><li>Informal gathering of instructors with students or among students </li></ul><ul><li>6. Use streaming videos to make sure the students feel the instructor’s social presence . </li></ul>
  42. 42. Recommendations for Further Study <ul><li>1. A study should be conducted to include a larger sample of students in the Lone Star College System in order to determine the extent to which the results generalize to students in other departments besides Business and Technology, and in other locations </li></ul><ul><li>2. A study should be conducted to include undergraduate students at the university level in order to ascertain if the results generalize to a larger cross section of students including juniors and seniors. </li></ul><ul><li>3. A study should be conducted to include graduate students at the university level in order to ascertain if the results generalize to them as well. </li></ul>
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