Online Academic Success through Social Presence

November 09, 2019 E-Learning and Essay Writing Help

A critical factor in distance learning is its ability to convey what is known as social presence, namely how a person in an e-learning environment is able to show that they are present and able to create an interpersonal relationship with others. What this means is that success in online college and university courses is often tied to whether or not people feel that they are heard by others and whether they present their ideas to others in a way that makes sense.


Research shows that the development of social presence appears to be more important than the speed at which an instructor interacts with each student. This is because of the fact that some media, such as computer, interactive video, audiotape, alter learning environments to such an extent that different factors need to be taken into consideration. For example, when an instructor explains to a student how to write an essay for the course, it is more important for the instructor and the students to feel open to discuss this topic and share information than how much time they spend discussing it. To this end, social presence can be cultured among course participants, if the instructor of the course is open to it.


Ultimately, therefore, the psychological distance that an instructor puts between themselves and students and vice versa can have an impact on online learning success. Given these findings, both instructors and students involved in asynchronous communication can develop a set of immediacy behaviors that has a positive impact on their social presence in online courses.