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5 Key Elements of Social Presence: Part 4

5 Key Elements of Social Presence:  Part 4 Knowledge and Experience

This blog is the fourth of a five part series on the 5 key elements of social presence.  It is based on an article from the September/October edition of Learning & Leading with Technology magazine.  The article, written by Amy Garrett Dikkers, Aimee Whiteside, and Somer Lewis, is titled Get Present: Build Community and Connectedness Online

Social Presence Model

2 characters sharing an idea

Knowledge and Experience

This element of social presence in an online course deals with the sharing of resources and experiences among a group of learners.

We will discuss this aspect of social presence in a more detailed blog post at a later date.  View the following information for a quick summary.


  • Create assignments that ask students to make connections to their own lives.  This is an important skill that we need to encourage students to practice, as it improves comprehension and retention of information.
  • Access prior knowledge.  This is a strategy that many of you implement in your traditional classrooms.  Ask students to reflect on the information that they may already know about a topic.  The lesson design process that we implement here in Wayne Township can and should be used in our online courses, as well.  Backwards design (starting with the end in mind) is a great strategy for traditional or virtual classes.
  • Ask students to share tips, tricks, and ideas.  Allow students to become experts and to share that information with others.  This will help with creating a community of learners and keep engagement in the course high.


Again, I encourage you to visit the article where the idea and much of the content for this blog series originated.  It is a great resource for virtual school teachers.

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