University Libraries & Learning Sciences Faculty and Staff Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

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A major challenge to designing online learning is the development of appropriate means to facilitate the social environment that is critical for higher-order learning in many disciplines. In many online learning designs, the majority of resources are channeled to web interface design and technology, while little or no resources are devoted to facilitating the teaching and learning process, the negotiation of meaning and the validation of knowledge among peers and instructors that depends on a conducive socio-cultural environment and adequate learner support. This paper seeks to address this issue by examining one factor, social presence that has been shown to influence the social environment of online education.


Open University of Hong Kong Press

Publication Title

Distance Education and Technology: Issues and Practice

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Online learning, social environment, social presence


Pre-print version.



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