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Social Presence

Social presence is one of three important aspects that must be developed within a Community of Inquiry.

Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2004) present the community of inquiry model with three circles forming an overlapping Venn diagram showing the integration of cognitive, social, and teaching presence. Each must be developed in a teaching and learning experience, forming the basis for a community of inquiry (CoI). Garrison and Cleveland-Innes (2005) state that “an interactive community of learners is generally considered the sine qua non of higher education” (p. 13). According to Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2004) “a community of inquiry is an extremely valuable, if not essential, context for higher-order learning” (p. 1). McKerlick and Anderson (2007) state that a “community inquiry framework of learners is an essential core element of an educational experience when higher order learning is the desired learner outcome” (p. 22).

Social presence includes how students interact with others and become “real” people (Garrison et al., 2000). This happens through written and verbal dialogue (McPeck, 1990). Lim (2004) discusses the importance of dialogue to constructing knowledge in any learning community.


References for Community of Inquiry

  • Garrison, R., Anderson, T. & Archer, W. (2004). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. Retrieved November 1, 2009 from Cognitive Presence PDF
  • Garrison, D., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in online learning: interaction is not enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148. ebscohost.com, doi:10.1207/s15389286ajde1903_2
  • McKerlick, R. and Anderson, T. (2007). Community of inquiry and learning in immersive virtual environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(4), 35-52.

References for Social Presence

  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 2(2–3): 1–19.
  • Lim, C. (2004). Engaging learners in online learning environments. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 48(4), 16-23.
  • McPeck, J. E. (1990).Teaching critical thinking: Dialogue and dialectic. New York: Routledge.