One of my faculty sponsors has done quite a lot of research in the field of social presence in online courses. I'm thankful that I have the chance to learn from and work with him, and I am especially thankful that I got to meet up with Dr. Lowenthal in person this week and hear one of his presentation at the conference. His passion and knowledgeability about his research area were inspiring!
|Dr. Lowenthal doing his thing.|
I am torn on my dissertation topic. I'm sure it will be either examining social presence in online learning or preparing pre-service teachers for the demands of technology integration, but between these two topics there is quite a bit of room. I was in sessions this week related to both of these topics, and I was hoping to gain clarity, but I'm still struggling a bit. I will say that after hearing Dr. Lowenthal's presentation, I feel myself pulled toward examining social presence at least in the short term, if not for a long term project like my dissertation, or at least for a future research topic after this degree is completed.
Here is a link to the slides from this presentation, which was all about social presence and online video. Maybe this gives a glimpse into why I find this so fascinating? (Or maybe you'll be left saying, "whatever, Dave...") :-)