Dorner Helga: Social presence as a predictor of satisfaction in pedagogical scenarios designed in a blended set-up
Social presence as apredictor of satisfactionin pedagogical scenariosdesigned in a blendedset-up Helga DornerUniversity of SzegedCentral European University,BudapestHungaryEARLI 2009 conferenceAmsterdam, August 25-29,2009
Outline of the presentation• Theoretical foundations• Aims and hypotheses• Methodology - Research tools• Results and discussion• Limitations and future plans
Theoretical foundationsSocial construction of knowledge –constructing meaning actively and continuouslyin a social context (Vygotsky, 1978; Young,1997)Computer-mediated communication (CMC) canact as catalyst of evolving collaborationamong course participantsSense of Community as an essential support ofcollaborative learning ~ Community of Inquiryframework: cognitive, social and teachingpresence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000)
Theoretical foundationsa blended learning environment ~ a synergy ofexperiences, the phenomenon of socialpresence is strongly connected to flexible toolmediation that is provided by the technologythe success of pedagogical scenarios inblended settings is impacted by theparticipants’ experience: “students who feelthat they are part of a group or ‘present’ in acommunity will wish to participate actively ingroup and community activities” (Picciano,2002, p.24.)
Social presence“the degree of salience of the other person in theinteraction and the consequent salience of theinterpersonal relationships” (Short, Williams &Christie, 1976, p. 65)“illusion of nonmediation” (Lombard & Ditton,1997) occurs when a person fails to realise theexistence of a medium in her communicationand interacts as if it were not therethe concept of presence manifests itself throughthe interactions among the participants and theinstructor and as such is a social phenomenon.
Social presence“the ability of learners to projectthemselves socially and emotionally,thereby being perceived as ‘real people’in mediated communication” (Rourke,Anderson, Garrison, & Archer, 2001)
Aims and hypothesismaking trainees’ “experience” visible (to see theways of a potential change of their behaviourfrom “individual professionals” to “professionalteam-players”)testing our hypotheses:social presence…is a strong predictor of satisfactionis a crucial component of online communication inpedagogical scenarios designed in a blended form.
MethodologyContextEnglish as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachingmethodology classes of a Hungarian university(ELTE) – online modules done in the MoodleCMSParticipantsTeacher trainees (n=60) working in teams of 5-6DurationThree successive semesters: Spring and Autumn2007 and Spring 2008
Methodology – Research toolsMixed-methodology approachQuantitative Participant satisfaction and communicationquestionnaire (Dorner, 2007)Qualitative approach but quantifying findings Macro - Social Network Analysis Micro - Content analysis for social presencecomponent of the CoI framework (Rourke etal, 2001)
Methodology – Research toolsSocial presence dimensions – Participantsatisfaction and communication questionnaire 25 Likert-type items 4-point response scale (stronglydisagree, disagree, agree and strongly agree) ~perceived (subjective) values Four variables: (1) participants global satisfaction, (2)satisfaction with the facilitator’s activity, (3) onlinecommunication in the CSCL environments, and (4) theparticipants’ perceived social presence. The items concerning social presence were adaptedfrom social presence scales employed byGunawardena and Zittle (1997), Richardson and Swan(2003), Picciano (2002) and Swan and Shih (2005).
Methodology – Research toolsSocial presence dimensions – Participantsatisfaction and communication questionnaire first phase of the regression analyses: the extent towhich the independent variables affect the dependentvariable ~ importance of the components and globalindexes- 4-scale ratings converted to a 0-100 scale ~ single scores foreach variable- Regression analyses computed and significant items indicated– with the respective importance values.- Using the importance values, global indexes calculated second phase of regression analyses: these indexeswere employed to build explanatory models, whichelucidate the relations between the four components
Social presence Content analysis (Rourkeet al, 2001)Affective CategoryIndicator Description/ ExampleExpression of emotions "I just cant stand it when…" "ANYBODY OUT THERE"Use of humour Teasing, cajoling, irony, sarcasmSelf-disclosure (present details of life outside of class, orexpress vulnerability)“Where I work this is what we do…” “ I just do notunderstand this question”Interactive categoryContinuing a thread (using reply function of software ratherthan starting a new thread)Subject Re:…….; Branch formatQuoting from others’ messages Referring explicitly tosomebodys message"Martha writes …"Asking questions (students ask questions of otherstudents)"Anyone had experience with…?"Complementing, expressing appreciation “ I really like your interpretation”Expressing agreement "I was thinking the same thing. You really hit the nail on thehead."Cohesive categoryVocatives (referring to participants by name) " I think John made a good point." "John what do youthink?"Addresses or refers to the group using inclusive pronouns(addresses group as we, us, our group)"Our textbook refers to…" " I think we are off the trackhere…"Phatics, salutations (communication that serves purelysocial function)"Hi all…" "Thats it for now" "We are having lovelyweather…"
Explanatory model Spring 2007Participants’coursesatisfactionFacilitatorSocialpresenceOnlinecommuni-cation0,5050,3890,1050,117Importance0< imp. < 1Direct impactIndirect impact
Explanatory model Fall 2007Importance0< imp. < 1Direct impactIndirect impactParticipants’coursesatisfactionFacilitatorSocialpresenceOnlinecommunication0,540,150,470,160,56facilitator 0,15 0,16*0,54=0,086 - 0,24online communication 0,54 - - 0,54Social presence 0,47*0,54=0,2538 0,56*0,16*0,54=0,048 0,56*0,15=0,084 0,39
Explanatory model Spring 2008Importance0< imp. < 1Direct impactIndirect impactFacilitatorSocialpresenceOnlinecommunication0,500,130,410,200,50Participants’coursesatisfactionfacilitator 0,13 0,20*0,50=0,1 - 0,23online communication 0,50 - - 0,50Social presence 0,41*0,50=0,205 0,50*0,20*0,50=0,05 0,50*0,13=0,065 0,32
Limitations, further investigationsample sizeAdding results of content analysis ofcognitive and teaching presenceGroup-level social network analysisStatistical analysis of possible relations: Global indexes and frequency of posting messages(interactivity) Global indexes and ICT competence (Internet ability andcomputer skills) Global indexes and online experience
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