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Richardson & Swan (2003): A Recap

A summary of Richardson & Swan (2003) for class.
by

Megan Strathearn

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Richardson & Swan (2003): A Recap

Presentation by: Megan Strathearn
Date: 2/18/13 "Examining Social Presence in Online Courses in Relation to Students' Perceived Learning and Satisfaction" (Richardson & Swan, 2003) New Era of Online Learning Hypothesis Discussion Conclusions Advantages: convenience & flexibility; asynchronous environment allows for further student reflection What is the relationship between social presence and student / instructor satisfaction with an online course? Disadvantages: transformed roles of the instructor and student; feelings of disconnection "postulates that a critical factor of a communication medium is its 'social presence,' which is defined as

the 'degree of salience of the other person in the (mediated) interaction and the consequent salience of the interpersonal relationships'" (Richardson & Swan, 2003, p.70). Social Presence Theory social presence the 'degree of salience of the other person in the
(mediated) interaction and the consequent salience of the interpersonal relationships' ""Th i.e. the "degree to which a person is perceived as 'real' in mediated communication" perceived real " IF: Social presence varies across different media

AND: High teacher immediacy in synchronous face-to-face environments increase student motivation (the "measure of the psychological distance that a communicator puts between themselves and the object of their communication")

THEN: Does asynchronous communication develops it's own set of "immediacy behaviors that 'cultures' social presence in online courses" (p.70)? IF: AND: THEN: 1) Students' perceptions of social presence in online courses are related to their perceived learning and satisfaction with their instructor. 2) Students' perceptions of social presence
in online area a predictor of their perceived learning. 3) Course activities perceived by students as having the highest level of social presence also have high levels of students' perceived learning. 4) Gender, age and number of college credits earned are related to students perceptions of social presence. Empire State College (ESC)
Spring 2000 online courses
n=97 (mostly 36 - 45 years old)
63% female
57% Juniors / Seniors according to credits
47% 1st online course
15% were taking two online courses concurrently
38% were taking three or more online courses Participant Details Survey 1) Demographics
2) Overall perceptions
16 likert scale questions & 2 open ended questions
student satisfaction with instructor, overall perceived learning, overall perceived social presence
3) Likert social presence indicator questions for 6 activities (lectures/notes/readings, written assignments, individual projects, group projects, self-tests/module tests/ final exam) Survey Procedures mailed (and posted on the class website) to all participants after final (n= 369)
included cover letter & instructions
given two weeks
second mailing = return rate 26% Research Design 1) correlation design
limitation: can establish relationship, but not cause / effect
2) direct entry regression of variables to see if perceived social presence was a predictor of student perceived learning
3) variables: students' overall perception of social presence, students' overall perceived learning and students' overall satisfaction with their instructor Implications:
1) higher perceived social presence = higher perceived learning
2) most satisfied with instructor = higher perceived learning
3) higher perceived social presence = most satisfied with instructor * Students with higher perceived social presence = higher perceived learning for each of the six activities. 1) Students' perceptions of social presence
in online courses are related to their perceived learning and satisfaction with their instructor. 2) Students' perceptions of social presence in online courses are a predictor of their perceived learning. 2) Course activities perceived by students as having the highest level of social presence also have high levels of students' perceived learning. 3) Gender, age and number of college credits earned are related to students perceptions of social presence. Hypothesis: Accept or Reject? Accept Reject (ish): only gender differences Accept Accept social presence as "cultured"
problematic connection between satisfaction with instructor & course
connection between social presence and instructor satisfaction
ambiguously asked in the survey designers of courses need to take into "account the mechanisms and/or behaviors by which social presence is conveyed in this environment" might be specific to this sample
social presence scales might be gender biased
needs further research 59% = said interaction, feedback and "other students' perspectives and/or acknowledgment as their reasons for selecting the activities they did as being the most beneficial"
supports literature on active learning and collaboration that it increases motivation and satisfaction in online course Limitations: self-reported
lack of randomization, manipulation and control
sample is nontraditional students "Instructors need to be aware of the impact that their immediacy behaviors and social presence or lack thereof may have on their students' satisfaction, motivation and learning" (p.81) Results of direct entry regression = .46

Perceived social presence (ID) is responsible for 46% of the variability of perceived learning (DV). There was a statistical significant correlation between gender and student's perceived learning (.219).

Gender accounts for 5% of the variability in students social presence scores.
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