Using social presence indicators for enhacing classroom environment when teaching online

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Although being difficult to achieve in an online classroom environment, social presence remains vital for a successful learning experience. The present research focuses on teaching a combined group of English for Psychology, Legal English, and Business English students applying the selected social presence indicators. The main objective of the case study is to evaluate if the usage of the selected social presence indicators expEdītes and facilitates the development of a positive classroom atmosphere when teaching online. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are employed, such as student questionnaires (21 participants) and classroom observation. According to the results obtained from the student questionnaire, the students evaluated the classroom atmosphere positively. Additionally, all the participants emphasized the role of specific aspects for enhancing social presence, such as the use of cameras, the group size (3-4 people), the absence of impersonal attitude, etc. playing an important role in creating a positive studying environment. These aspects might be considered as practical implications to be used by the academic staff as a complement to the teaching presence indicators especially when teaching online. The observations of the teacher suggest that students do not have to be additionally encouraged to converse or to participate in collaborative-learning if the SP indicators are successfully employed. It is concluded that despite the challenges, such as the lack of familiarity with the peers and the lecturer, as well as the time constraints and the communication channel (Zoom platform), the use of social presence elements creates a sense of community. The majority of the students admitted that the classroom atmosphere influences their perception of the study process. Therefore, using a combination of affective, cohesive, and interactive social presence indicators significantly facilitates the creation of a comfortable classroom atmosphere, which plays a vital role in a learner-centered approach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: University Teaching and Learning - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: University Teaching and Learning
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 5.3 Educational sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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