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Presence : A sense of “being there” in a mediated environment (Biocca, Kim, & Levy (1993).
Social Presence : The ability of participants to project their personal characteristics into in a community of inquiry, so as to be perceived as real people to their peers (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000).
Components of social presence include the amount of information transmitted, words conveyed, verbal and non-verbal immediacy cues , and the context of the communication.
The study replicated design elements utilized by Witt (2000) and Schutt (2007), the key element being the use of pre-recorded teaching segments where instructor immediacy was manipulated to create higher and lower conditions.
In addition, two different sets of communications media were used; a rich media combination, and a leaner media set.
The concept of immediacy was operationalized as having two dimensions: Instructor behaviors and communication media, with the primary dimension (verbal and nonverbal immediacy behaviors) carrying greater weight than the secondary dimension (the medium by which the instructor interjected herself).
Treatment Group 1 - Higher-immediacy, w/video & text-chat (Hi-Vid)
Treatment Group 2 - Higher-immediacy, w/still photo & text-chat (Hi-Stil)
Treatment Group 3 - Lower-immediacy, w/video & text-chat (Lo-Vid)
Treatment Group 4 - Lower-immediacy, w/still photo & text-chat (Lo-Stil)
RQ2 : How does immediacy influence cognitive learning?
RQ3 : How does immediacy influence perceived learning?
RQ4 : How does immediacy influence satisfaction with teaching?
The overall hypothesis was that higher-immediacy instructor behaviors with full video of the instructor would result in higher perceptions of immediacy and greater levels of cognitive learning, perceived learning, and satisfaction with teaching.
Topic : Cognitive Dissonance Theory – Main tenants can be covered in a 15-minute session, examples easily relate to real life situations, introductory for the discipline, approved by course instructor.
Guest Instructor : Carla Mathison , Ph.D. – Professor/Co-Director of Teacher Education here at SDSU. She is also the faculty liaison for the School In The Park program, and designer of Armaiti Island (an electronic simulation designed for professional educators).
Treatments : Simulated synchronous teaching sessions with an instructor and six mock students conducted in the Wimba Virtual Classroom, with the goal of maximizing treatment differences while remaining believable.
Participants were recruited from two 500-seat sections of an undergraduate psychology course that met twice weekly (T-TH), in the fall of 2008.
One section was delivered in a traditional F2F manner in a high-end technology-infused classroom (AL-201); the other was blended —where one weekly class was delivered F2F and the other was a synchronous session delivered in a Wimba Virtual Classroom. Both sections were taught by the same instructor.
A total of 35 sessions were run over the 3-week period (Oct.17-Nov.7, 2008), resulting in 599 participants; 23 records were unusable resulting in 576 usable records for analysis.