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  • 2017_02_27_Sent_to_Distance_Education_Accepted

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Distance Education on 10/05/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01587919.2017.1322456

    Accepted author manuscript, 417 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Social presence reconsidered: moving beyond, going back, or killing social presence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Distance Education
Issue number2
Volume38
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)259-266
Publication statusPublished
Early online date10/05/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Online education research has long employed the concept of social presence to study interactions
in technologically-mediated spaces. Yet, a precise shared definition of social presence does not
exist. There is a lack of clarity around this term and conflation with other phenomena. As
researchers and practitioners striving for clarity, do we need such a heavily burdened and deeply
ambiguous term? To support the development of clarity and provide a way forward with current
conversations about social presence, this article traces how the concept of social presence has
been developed and appropriated in the online and distance education literature. We do not
simply focus on the historical trajectory of the concept but discuss how it is utilized to address the
growing complexities of social interactions in parallel to the increasing affordances of new
technologies. Our aim is to illustrate that social presence is over extended and widely stretched to
correspond with the possibilities of socialization and that it has long lost its depth and breadth,
and thus, its analytical strength. We argue that we should focus more on the relative salience of
interpersonal relationships if we are to understand the relational aspects of being online.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Distance Education on 10/05/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01587919.2017.1322456