Impact of Social Presence In Nursing Education

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Social Presence and Impact on Nursing Education

Impact of Social Presence In Nursing Education

What Is Meant By Social Presence ,Importance of Social Presence In Nursing Education,Contribution to Create Improve Social Presence In Nursing Education,Impact of Social Presence In Nursing Education,Nursing Work Regarding Social Presence.

What Is Meant By Social Presence 

    Social presence is the ability of learners and instructors in a community of learning to project their personal characteristics into the community, presenting themselves as real people through the use of emotional expression, open communication, and various means to establish group cohesion (Garrison, Anderson , & Archer, 2000) Social presence plays a pivotal role in both setting the educational climate and as a support for scholarly discourse.

Importance of Social Presence In Nursing Education

    Social presence has importance in the education of nurses due to the emergence of entire programs of nursing being delivered in an online environment. A computer mediated platform for education has very few effective cues on which participants can base interactions. There are no opportunities for eye contact, or observation of body language or facial expressions. 

    The community of inquiry model (COI) developed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) demonstrates the role of social presence as one of the major elements of the learning experience, along with cognitive presence and teaching presence in creating a learning community or community of inquiry, Creating this sense of community predisposes participants to enhanced interaction, is beneficial to student engagement, increases motivation and satisfaction with the learning environment, and increases perception of learning in online classes (Rovai, 2002).

    For nursing instructors, the challenge is to create an online community with a climate of social presence, incorporating and understanding the experiences of learners, and integrating effective and cognitive aspects into course design. While all members of an online learning community have shared responsibility for establishing a social discourse and dialogue, it is the instructor who most likely influences establishment and maintenance of the social presence as well as a teaching presence within an online course.

Contribution to Create Improve Social Presence In Nursing Education

    Strategies for creating a climate of trust and social presence include weaving effective aspects into all learning experiences using techniques such as welcoming messages sages, instructor self disclosure, instructor expressions of emotion, the use of inclusive pronouns, and expressing concern and appreciation for student efforts. Strategies used to maintain the engagement of student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions and communication include structuring collaborative learning activities, positive and timely feedback, answering questions with demonstrated enthusiasm for the subject, continuing a thread in a student discussion, referencing prior to student's posts in discussions, asking questions, and demonstrating an instructor presence in the course of the instruction

Impact of Social Presence In Nursing Education

    The definition of social presence started as a way to explain the effects that a communication medium can have on how people communicate (Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976), With the emergence of online education, researchers began to apply the definition to computer-mediated educational models and to further refine the definition (Garrison et al, 2000), Currently there is not one agreed upon definition of social presence and it continues to evolve in the educational literature.

    There is also little agreement on how to measure social presence Research on social presence has focused on surveys, coding schemes, observing behaviors of social presence, and perceptions of students about computer mediated learning formats (Gunnawardena & Zittle, 1997, Richardson & Swan, 2003; Tu, 2002). Both Gunnawardena and Zittle (1997) and Richardson and Swan (2003) demonstrated a relationship between social presence and satisfaction with online learning, as well as perceived learning.

    A study among registered nurses (RN) bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students examined social presence and its relationship to satisfaction and perceived learning (Cobb, 2011).Findings supported the research by Gannawardena and Zittle (1997) regarding the relationship between social presence and satisfaction with online learning, further supported the reliability and validity instrument, and also Corroborates Richardson and Swan's (2003) finding of social presence positively correlated with perceived learning. 

    Likewise, a pilot study by Mayne and Wu (2011) reported that the inclusion of specific social presence techniques had a positive impact on group interaction as well as online learning expectations.The focus of current research on social presence has shifted from socio-emotional support to an understanding of how it supports the educational objectives and outcomes of the learning community. 

    While effective communication is important, it cannot be separated from the academic and purposeful nature of education, including cognitive and teaching presence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2010), research findings have demonstrated the interdependence of learning and emotion and suggest that the role each plays is more complex than previously thought Social presence is a concept that taps into the effective or emotional aspects of learning models, based on an assumption that social presence has a positive effect on learning outcomes. 

    On the other hand, recent studies of social presence and the COI theoretical model have challenged the idea that social presence is a major influence in learning While students view it as a means to share, express their views, and collaborate (Akyol et al., 2009), the concept of teaching presence, specifically the instructor-to-student interaction and the course design, exerts a major influence on student learning and indicates that teaching and social presence are highly correlated (Bangert, 2008),

Nursing Work Regarding Social Presence

    Continued studies need to be conducted to further define social presence and the role it plays in both blended and online learning. This would necessitate research to determine the effect on learners in various settings, the influence of group-based social presence on the learning process, and the outcomes of learning using this model. While social presence and sustained communication are necessary components of meaningful learning, the challenge is to both conceptualize and measure meaningful learning. Continued studies on social presence and teaching presence need to be designed in order to define the constructs in a way that they can inform the teaching and learning process (Annand, 2011).

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