Building Social Presence Through Engaging Online Instructional Strategies

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Originally Published In

In R. D. Wright (ed.), Student-Teacher Interaction in Online Learning Environments


Social presence in the online learning environment is best developed when the instructor is the facilitator of knowledge and the students are the seekers of knowledge. Strategies for consciously developing social presence among learners are provided. This chapter includes the Online Steps to Complex Cognition, an educational model that displays five successive stages of the online learning process and how social presence can be heightened at each stage. Positive levels of social presence allow students to engage in critical discourse and promote learning as they intellectually and socially engage and build a level of mutual trust and respect with their teachers and with other learners.