Social presence- Who are you on line?

Really I think you are different depending on the context or the role you find yourself in.

This week has been the second week of our student led seminar. Its been an interesting experience.It’s funny as someone who has been used to participating in units to be engaging as someone who is in the tutor role. As a group we have found ourselves getting concerned if no one starts talking on the forums- how long do you leave it before you start posting to try and encourage other students to post? Well actually we have learnt some times you just have to be patient and they will come……

I have found it interesting reading about ways to increase participation in on line communities. There are several reasons as to what motivates people participate more in on line environments; Self efficiency, Need-to-achieve, Trust, intrinsic motivation, usability, Group identity, personal responsibility, Goals and commitment to goals  (Tedjamnlia, Olsen, Dean and Albriect 2005). The other factor they note is crowding effects. It has been interesting to see the swell of forum posts in the later half of the week. So I think there are merits to the idea of crowding effects and how this can also motivate other peoples participation.

This week I has also got me thinking about how you come across on line and all the different platforms we use to build our social presence on line. For me this theme fitted in with some of the work that Team Digiliterati started us on thinking about our visitor and resident activities on line. It got me thinking about how we use social spaces we inhabit on the web as learning spaces and how our social presence is different depending on where we are and perhaps what we are trying to find out. I guess this week, I have definitely felt like a bit of a lurker (wikipedia 2016) in Moodle. I have felt someone who is going in and checking on things, but I guess not so much contributing in an active way. Maybe there is a comfort in seeing what others say first and then contributing yourself, or does this help to build a sense of trust- seeing that others are willing to share helps to encourage you to also share. This has also been one of the gratifying points of running this unit- the trust people have shown.

I think we present different social presences on line depending on the platform. I know on Facebook for instance, this is where most of my friends are, so my presence is much more relaxed. So for me I am not sure how happy I would be if this started to be an educational place. But I do use it as an informal community of inquiry, if I need to know facts about rugby stats for example, I know exactly which friends to ask. The same thing is starting to happen in the BOE, we are building a knowledge of each others expertise. This unit has been useful in building a much better understanding of each course members on line social presence.

I think a key point I will take away from this unit is that communication forms such an important factor in reaching the on line learner. Reading through some of the tips to increase your online social presence (Wang, H. 2010). I am in a way reminded of some books you used to see about ‘nettiquette ‘and e-mail etiquette. The rules of how to interact on line are probably much the same as off line rules 🙂

Try not to SHOUT at any one….

Be professional

Engage in conversation

Listen as well as talk

Tedjamnlia, Olsen, Dean and Albriect (2005) Motivating Content Contributions to Online Communities: Toward a More Comprehensive Theory. Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences Available from: [Accessed 13.03.16]

Wikipedia (2016) Lurker. Available from: [Accessed 13.03.16]

Wang, H (2010) Eight Ways to Increase Social Presence in Your Online Classes Available from: [Accessed: 11.03.2016]


3 thoughts on “Social presence- Who are you on line?

  1. Pingback: Sharing is caring? Some thoughts on learning-by-sharing as an approach to online student support | joe bloggs boe blog

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