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The significance of social presence in asynchronous computer conferencing has become an increasingly important factor in establishing high-quality online learning environments. Levels of social presence exhibited in asynchronous computer conferences influence students' perceptions of learning and satisfaction levels in Web-based courses. Recently, faculty teaching online courses have begun to use voice-based asynchronous conferencing tools with little research to support the appropriateness of the media. Deployment of voice- based technology as a pedagogical tool is delivered at a considerable cost to higher education institutions. These tools are often marketed based on the effectiveness of the technology in a learning environment. However, according to this study, there is no apparent benefit in using voice-based rather than text-based technology tools to facilitate asynchronous computer conferences in a Web-based learning environment.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2009