Measuring perceived social presence in distributed learning groups
Social presence—the degree to which ‘the other’ in a communication appears to be a ‘real’ person—has captured the attention of those dealing with learning in groups through computer-supported collaborative learning environments. The concept is important because it affects participation and social interaction, both necessary for effective collaboration and knowledge construction. This article reports on the construction and validation of a self-reporting (Dutch-language) Social Presence Scale to determine perceived social presence in distributed learning groups using computer-supported collaborative learning environments. The result is a one-dimensional scale consisting of five items with an internal consistency of .81. We used a nomological network of similar constructs for further validation. The findings suggest that the Social Presence Scale has potential to be useful as a measure for social presence.