Social Presence Examples

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For almost a decade, student enrollment rates in online educational programs have greatly increased and exceeded overall student enrollment in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2010). These numbers are expected to continue to rise each year, particularly due to the downturn of the economy, including rising unemployment rates and increased fuel costs (Allen & Seaman, 2008; Allen & Seaman, 2010). Furthermore, many adult learners are returning to online programs to further their education because of the convenience and flexibility of courses while balancing home and work demands (Noel-Levitz, 2011). Many academic institutions have reported that online programs are critical to their long-term growth, as there is a greater demand for online classes …show more content…
Social presence consists of affective, interactive, and cohesive communication (Swan & Shih, 2005). The affective component refers to the use of emotions, humor, and personal disclosure (Mathieson & Leafman, 2014). The interactive component consists of recognition, respect, and further exchange of communication (Mathieson & Leafman, 2014). Cohesive communication involves an environment of collaboration by using personal messages and greetings (Mathieson & Leafman, 2014). Kerhwald (2010) identified strong social presence as being demonstrative, dynamic, and cumulative. In that, it references an individual’s ability to demonstrate observable activity, provide frequent and quality interactions, and to offer continuous contributions over time. Whiteside (2015) examined social presence as a working model in a graduate certificate program. The author’s research was based on the Social Presence Coding Scheme developed by Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer (1999). Whiteside (2015) identified five integrated elements as a social presence model. These elements included: affective association, community cohesion, instructor involvement, interaction intensity, and knowledge and

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