Online College Instructor Perceptions of Computer-mediated Communication, Classroom Factors, and Social Presence

Online College Instructor Perceptions of Computer-mediated Communication, Classroom Factors, and Social Presence

Author: 
Jocelyn Hevel
Program of study: 
Ed.D./ET
Abstract: 
Social presence can be difficult to establish in online classes because social presence is a complex concept. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to examine relationships between classroom and computer-mediated communication (CMC) elements and online learning social presence. The population was online instructors, and respondents were 117 survey participants found through LinkedIn interest groups. Using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, moderate to strong, significant, positive relationships were found between social presence and each of the variables of intimacy, immediacy, CMC privacy, and CMC competence. A multiple regression analysis was performed, and six predictors for social presence were identified: intimacy, immediacy, CMC privacy, CMC competence, frequency of synchronous CMC use, and frequency of asynchronous CMC use. A multiple regression model equation was constructed that can predict social presence. Educators can use the results to help guide classroom management, technology use, and faculty development. Researchers can also use results to continue to examine social presence.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my parents, my brother and his family, my husband, my children, and my dog. Through the challenges and frustrations, epiphanies and discoveries, I’ve had to rely on my family’s understanding when my work took me away from activities or caused me to vent to them about my research. With their addict-like affinity for reading, my parents, Marnice and Larry Gooch, help inspire me to learn by constantly absorbing the contents of one book or another. My brother, Zachary Gooch, is a role model in writing stories and reading literature – a fellow English major I can look up to. I know I can count on him and his family if I need anything. My sister-in-law, Mandy, also helps inspire me by continuing to learn and teach others. My husband, Dave, encourages me to always pursue whatever learning experience calls to me. He is my partner and my soul mate. My children, Roger and Elias, motivate me to be an example of lifelong education. My dog, Magmadar, is my adorable best friend who helps keep me sane.
Acknowledgements: 
I must express my endless gratitude to the greatest dissertation committee members of all time. My current chair, Dr. Chris Roberts, was a knowledgeable professor in class, and I’m so glad we could finally work it out so he could be a part of my research project. My former chair, Dr. Charles Listak was a constant source of comfort and guidance from the beginning through the QRM process. My excellent committee members, Dr. Fern Entrekin and Dr. Craig Martin, were patient and reliable through a dissertation process that I sometimes thought would never end. At the beginning of my doctorate program, I was told that the dissertation committee would be a huge factor in my success or failure; the committee can make or break the dissertation process. I was lucky to have a responsible, intelligent, and wise group of individuals: a group I could count on without fail. Thank you all so much for teaching me and supporting me in class and in my dissertation.