The relevance of social presence, on cognitive learning, and affective learning, in an asynscronous distance learning environment, as identified by selected community college, students in texas
Jones, Brenda Jolivette
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The distance learning environment is one that involves a complex array of factors that influence a learner?s perspective of presence, satisfaction, and learning. This study was designed to investigate Lee College freshmen and sophomore students? perceptions of social presence. The purpose of the study was to (a) determine whether or not differences in perceptions of social presence exist among participants who differ in gender, age, and total level of education and (b) investigate whether or not there was a relationship between the participants? perceptions of social presence and their online course activities in WEBCT?. This study was conducted using a questionnaire. The data were collected from a convenience sample of 252 freshmen and sophomore level students at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. A response rate of 62% resulted in a final sample of 156. The content validity of the questionnaire was established via expert opinion, and the internal consistency and reliability of the instrument was calculated using Cronbach?s ?. Data screening techniques were employed as the first step in the data analysis process. Frequency counts, central tendencies, and standard deviations were used in the descriptive analysis of the data obtained via the questionnaire. Correlations and one-way ANOVAS were employed to answer research question 1 regarding the participants? perceptions of social presence and their personal characteristics (i.e., gender, age, and their total number of college credits earned). Six conclusions were generated regarding the participants? perceptions of social presence and their gender, age, and total number of college credits earned. Principal factor analysis with Varimax rotation revealed six constructs for research question 2 regarding the online course activities in WEBCT?. Differences in the participants? perceptions of social presence in the six constructs for the online course activities in WEBCT? were obtained. A stepwise regression analysis was conducted to obtain additional information regarding the amount of explained variance added by each of the respective predictors. Cronbach?s alpha was used to assess reliability of the data. Twelve conclusions were generated for research question 2 regarding the participants? perceptions of social presence and the online course activities. Specific human resource development practices were suggested.
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