Social Presence Theory

March 9th, 2010

This theory is foundational to my own research, with my current working dissertation title being: “The Online Video Conversation: Social Presence in the Asynchronous Online Classroom.” I will detail this much further later. However, I am now giving this overview, since I am discussing Junghyun Kim’s 2003 article this/last week, and he addresses this theory therein.

Basically, developed by John Short, Ederyn Williams, and Bruce Christie in 1976, social presence theory measures communication media based on the degree of awareness of the other person in a communication interaction. In most cases, the higher the social presence level, the better the understanding of both speaker and message. The level is altered with the removal or addition of each communication modality, such as speech, non-verbal cues, and immediacy of exchange or feedback. Read the rest of this entry »