How to Write Annotated Bibliography

Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous learning networks, 7(1), 68–88.

The authors of this study use a survey designed to gather information from Empire State College students who completed online learning courses to test their hypotheses of the role of social presence in online learning environments and its relationship to students’ perceptions of learning and satisfaction with the instructor. They found that their hypotheses clearly showed a relationship between students’ perceived social presence and students’ perceived learning. It also clearly supports that students’ perceptions of social presence are a predictor of students’ perceived learning in online courses. A significant correlation also was found between gender and students’ overall perception of social presence. Furthermore, it supports the social presence of instructor as an important factor in students’ educational experiences.

The major limitations of this study are the lack of randomization, manipulation and control that characterize experimental study. However, later study by Karen Swan cited below shows that social presence of participants in a computer-mediated environment has been an important factor in student satisfaction and success in online courses.

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The authors of this study use survey measures and techniques adapted from Richardson and Swan cited above to test relationship between perceived social presence and satisfaction with online discussion. They found a significant relationship between perceived social presence and satisfaction with online discussions. A very strong relationship was found also between the perceived social presence of peers and that of instructor, and between these and perceived learning. The major limitation of this study is the factor of experienced instructors who are aware of social presence and it is clearly cannot be generalized. However, Swan cited below shows the role of teaching presence and other forms of presence such as community to clarify this limitation.

Shea, P., Li, C. S., Swan, K., & Pickett, A. (2005). Developing learning community in online asynchronous college courses: The role of teaching presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(4), 59–82.

The authors of this study use a 42 item survey designed to measure student’s perceptions of both teaching presence and learning community. Their hypothesis indicates an important relationship between instructor’s online behaviors, the establishment of community, and the ultimate effectiveness of higher education online learning environments. They found that stronger teaching presence behavior by instructor leads to stronger sense of learning community. This perception of effective presence of teacher to facilitate the online environment appears to be important for students in regards to connectedness and learning. A previous study by the author, in addition, shows the social presence of the instructor as an important factor in students’ educational experience. While the authors position is attractive but there is a limitation which points that such results are not evident when examining smaller samples such as students enrolled in individual courses.