Presentation of Self and Social Presence in a Professional Online Conference

Session Description
Without presenters and attendees being physically at a conference, how do presenters and attendees construct and convey a social presence to build a learning community? The current surge of research to understand online pedagogy and learning has targeted the virtual classroom while few studies have been conducted on social presence in online conferences. This multiple case study involved data collection using linguistic inquiry and word count, transcript content analysis, constant comparison analysis, a survey and interviews, grounded in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) theory for studying online learning experiences.

Ultimately, the study revealed that social presence was manifested in the volume and patterns of interaction in a professional online conference and can be studied using the CoI framework’s social presence category. This was evident in the data gathered using multiple methods to observe and analyze what occurred during the 2016 TCC Online Conference and perceived experiences after the event.

The results of this study suggest that social presence can be established in a shorter time frame than previously thought possible compared to online courses conducted over a semester or term. Presenters and attendees participating in online presentations lasting 20 to 45 minutes were able to project observable instances of social presence.


    Agricultural Farm Food Safety Director, Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA)

  • Luisa F. Castro, Ph.D., is the Agricultural Farm Food Safety Director for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). Her experience includes more than 18 years of program management in higher education, developing and delivering training programs for professionals in the agricultural sector and most recently managing programs for individuals with career or personal enrichment focus at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. In her new position at the HDOA, Luisa is utilizing her expertise in program and organization management, food storage and preservation and food safety training to provide outreach and education to agricultural professionals. Currently, her research interests include local policy development and implementation of good agricultural practices in school gardens and farmers markets, small farmer food safety training and water testing for bacterial contamination. Luisa is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a master’s degree in Educational Technology and a doctoral degree in Learning, Design and Technology.
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2 Responses to Presentation of Self and Social Presence in a Professional Online Conference

  1. April 19, 2017 at 4:13 am #

    What a great presentation! Are your slides available online? I am writing a conference report, and would love to include a link to the slide deck or a publication of your thesis results. Also, would you be amenable to an interview for Innovate Learning Review? Thanks, Stefanie

  2. April 19, 2017 at 8:58 am #

    very informative!!

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