What Social Presence is, what it isn’t, and how to measure it: A work in progress
Tuesday, June 26 12:30 PM-1:00 PM
Presider:Toshiyuki Maeda, Hannan University, Japan
In educational settings that rely in large part on computer-mediated communication, like online learning and computer-supported collaborative learning, social presence is considered an important aspect of the learning experience. However, because there are many definitions and operationalizations in the literature, there is confusion as to what social presence actually is and how it affects learning in mediated spaces. In this paper, we argue for a clear definition that is rooted in its original conception by Short, Williams, & Christie (1976) emphasizing ‘realness’ of the other in the interaction. We present a social presence scale using Rasch analyses to validate the scale. Our findings are that this scale measures well those who have high perceptions of the ‘realness’ of the other whereas this is moderate for those who have only low perceptions of this ‘realness.’ Further improvement of the scale is, therefore, necessary.