Exploring the Roles of Social Presence and Gender Difference in Online Learning

Chong Woo Park, Dong gook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Online learning has become more popular in higher education with its advantages of flexibility and accessibility. However, there have been challenges to students’ learning experience in online learning. One critical challenge would be providing interactions between students and instructors as good or effective as in the face-to-face environment. However, providing face-to-face interactions in online learning is not feasible because students and instructors are not physically present together. In this study, we introduce and empirically investigate social presence as student learning experience in online learning in which physical presence does not exist. Drawing upon the social presence and online learning literature, we propose a research model to explore how the interactivity of communication tools can drive social presence and student satisfaction in online learning. Furthermore, this study examines gender difference as a moderator in the model. Data were collected from undergraduate students who were taking online business statistics courses where an interactive communication tool was required to use for class communication and collaboration. The results showed that social presence driven by tool interactivity had a significant impact on student satisfaction in online learning. We also found that gender difference moderated the relationship between tool interactivity and social presence in online learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-312
Number of pages22
JournalDecision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Gender Difference
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Moderation Effect
  • Online Education
  • Social Presence
  • and Partial Least Squares Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)


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