Monday, 4 November, 2013

Paper Review: Role of social presence and cognitive absorption in online learning environments

Leong, P. (2011). Role of social presence and cognitive absorption in online learning environments. Distance Education, 32(1), 5–28.    

Summary: Based on literature review, this paper has proposed following hypothesis:
  1. Social presence will be positively related to student satisfaction with online courses.
  2. Cognitive absorption will be positively related to student satisfaction with online courses.
  3. Social presence is an antecedent to cognitive absorption and will be positively related to cognitive absorption.
  4. Interest will be related to cognitive absorption and student satisfaction with online courses.
An online survey was used to collect data from 294 students enrolled in 19 online or online hybrid courses of the University of Hawaii system and Hawaii Pacific University during the Spring 2005 and Fall 2005 semesters. Following were the results:
  • While social presence influences student satisfaction, its impact is not direct, but rather mediated by cognitive absorption.
  • There is direct impact of interest on student satisfaction.
  • No significant relationship was found between interest and cognitive absorption.
  • A significant relationship was found between interest and social presence.
Following were mentioned to be limitations of the study:
  • Specific to asynchronous text-based learning environment facilitated through CMS such as WebCT.
  • Convenience sampling
  • Use of only one data point

Assessment:
This paper makes a contribution by empirically showing relationships among social presence, cognitive absorption, and student satisfaction with online learning environment. A similar approach could be used to validate the results for online learning environment that use social media tools such as discussion forums and video lectures.

Reflection:
The empirical analysis is very detailed.

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