The relationship between social presence and cognitive load

Jamie Costley (Department for Management of Science and Technology Development, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 17 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

As online learning has become more prevalent, how learners interact with each other in those learning environments has become more salient. To develop effective levels of interaction, students must feel comfortable to express their ideas and views. For this reason, this paper aims to look at how individual students’ levels of social presence affect germane cognitive load. Germane cognitive load is the amount that students are able to construct schema and can be seen as analogous to learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study looks at the results of survey data (n = 433) that investigate the relationship between social presence and germane cognitive load. The students were surveyed from the Open Cyber University of Korea in the fall semester of 2018.

Findings

The present study found a statistically significant positive relationship between social presence and germane cognitive load. The study found a Spearman’s correlation coefficient of 0.595. Furthermore, the sample was divided into a high, medium and low grouping of social presence. Among these groupings, the high level social presence had the highest level of germane cognitive load, and the low level social presence had the lowest level of germane cognitive load.

Originality/value

This result shows the importance and value of developing levels of social presence in online environments. Some research has shown relationships between student interaction and learning, but the present study looks directly at social presence and germane cognitive load. From this research, the authors can see the value of encouraging higher levels of social interaction in online learning environments.

Keywords

Citation

Costley, J. (2019), "The relationship between social presence and cognitive load", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 172-182. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-12-2018-0107

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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