The Demands of Social-Presence and Teacher-Presence in Online Learning Environments: Limitations of Printed Text
Most higher-education units and courses now have some components of online delivery, some substantial, and others are totally online. Most higher education students are coming into university skilled in media-enriched environments that include entertainment, communications and learning. For many students "googling" is a euphemism for research. On-line learning is now a key component of higher education student learning experiences as technologies compliment, and in some cases replace, traditional learning experiences. In this now well established but still evolving environment we refer to two aspects of a conceptual framework for e-learning posed by Garrison and Anderson (2003), that of social presence and teacher presence, as a means of fostering a more engaged learning community. By comparing the relationship between flat text from materials such as textbooks, enriched discursive text using on-line technologies, and social and teacher presence online, we contend that traditional print based learning tools will increasingly come to be regarded as a secondary rather than a prime student resource, by both academics and students. The very recent decision by The University of Melbourne to convert the area currently housing the famous Baillieu Library research collection into a group-study space called a "learning hub", and to place much of the book collection into storage for use on an "on request" basis, is suggestive of changes in knowledge-delivery strategies.
Keywords: On-line learning, Student learning experiences, Learning Resources, The future of Text-books, E-learning, Engaged learning communities, Social and Teacher presence online
Lecturer and IT&L PD Fellow, Deakin Business School
Dr Judy Nagy
Senior Lecturer, Deakin Business School, Deakin University