Social Presence and Implications 

for Designing Online Learning Communities*


Charlotte N. (Lani) Gunawardena


The University of New Mexico, U.S.A


Abstract  With the rapid global proliferation of the Internet and telecommunication networks, online education, one form of distance education is currently becoming the fastest growing trend of domestic and international education. 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. 

Key word  sonline learning; social presence

【CLC nurnbers】G434

【Document code】A

【Article ID】1007-2179(2005)04-0054-07