The growth in online education has led to the need for specific strategies that online instructors can use to assist students with the unique challenges of the modality. While many teaching theories can work online, adaptations need to be made to address issues with retention, persistence, and the immediacy that can arise in computer-mediated communication. Social presence is a strategy that faculty and students can employ to effectively interact in an asynchronous online discussion environment. Students that experience high social presence in a classroom do not feel that the computer-mediated communication is a barrier to their interaction with others, particularly their faculty members. The driving research question for this study was: Is there a difference in final grade, satisfaction, persistence, and retention based on whether faculty demonstrate high levels of social presence cues versus those that demonstrate low levels of social presence cues in online classrooms. This study added to the research on the impact that social presence has on student satisfaction with online faculty, student retention in the online course, student final grade in the online course, and student persistence through to the next online course by examining online classes at a for-profit postsecondary institution that serves primarily non-traditional adult students. Faculty who demonstrated high social presence scores had significantly higher student satisfaction ratings than faculty who had low social presence scores. In addition, faculty who demonstrated a moderate to high amount of social presence had significantly higher student persistence than faculty who had low social presence scores.
|Commitee:||Rickey, Debbie, Thrasher, Kevin|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|Department:||College of Doctoral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Communication, Instruction, Online education, Postsecondary education, Satisfaction, Social presence, Student achievement|
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