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The relationship between social presence and social capital in online learning communities

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For many years, social presence has been deemed important for communication and collaboration in online learning environments. Yet, the specific types of interactions fostered by social presence have been ignored. In this paper, we propose the use of social capital theory as a means of distinguishing interaction patterns. We urge researchers to study social presence with the appreciation that not all types of interactions are equally valued by participants and that social presence does not necessarily lead to all types of such interactions.