This dissertation examined how an asynchronous video reflection tool impacted learners’ perception of social presence and their feeling of community in an online learning environment. More than ever before learning in postsecondary education takes place online through computer mediated communication, as almost all colleges and universities offer some of their courses online (Moore & Kearsley, 2012). There are many benefits of online learning (Graham, 2006; Griffiths & Graham, 2009b; Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, & Archer, 2001), but there are problems as well. One of the problems students can have while learning online is the feeling of isolation and the lack social presence with others (Ali & Leeds, 2009; Borup, West, & Graham, 2012; Rovai, 2002). To help mediate this problem, instructors use different online technologies that encourage learners to communicate in a variety of ways, including through video and visual media. There are many video-based tools available and many are newly in development; this study examines one in particular called Flipgrid that can be used by instructors and students to create and share video-based reflections on course content. The purpose of this study is to help online instructors, instructional designers and educational app developers find new ways of enhancing or increasing social presence for their target audience by exploring the following research questions: (1) How does an asynchronous video reflection tool impact students’ perception of social presence in an online class? (2) How does seeing classmates’ video recordings influence students’ feeling of community in an online class? And (3) How does creating video recordings influence students’ feeling of community in an online class? This interpretive case study (Stake, 1995) was informed by the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) and utilized qualitative methods for data collection and inductive data analysis to understand the phenomenon of social presence and how learners experienced it while using an asynchronous video reflection tool. Data was collected from students from five separate undergraduate courses that took place fully online. Analysis of qualitative surveys, focus group, and individual interviews revealed three themes from the data: familiarization, authenticity, and distractions. Participants expressed that getting to know classmates by seeing and hearing them in an online course was important to them, and authentic videos in which students shared personal stories to support their points of views were highly valued. There were also distracting elements, like privacy concerns and the feeling of being rushed while doing recording, that negatively impacted the experience of recording and watching video reflections. Based on the findings of this study, a refined definition of social presence is proposed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.December 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Charles Miller. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 119 pages.
The Impacts of Asynchronous Video Reflection on Perceived Learner Social Presence.
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