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Interface Design for Social Interaction in E-Learning Environments

Interface Design for Social Interaction in E-Learning Environments
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Author(s): Luciane Maria Fadel (UNOESC Videira, Brazil) and Mary C. Dyson (The University of Reading, UK)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 22
Source title: Affective, Interactive and Cognitive Methods for E-Learning Design: Creating an Optimal Education Experience
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Aimilia Tzanavari (University of Nicosia, Cyprus) and Nicolas Tsapatsoulis (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-940-3.ch004


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This chapter concerns the contribution of the interface design to social interaction in e-learning environments. More specifically this chapter focuses on the design of social facilities in the interface that are intended to motivate and sustain the process of communication among students. Although there are design constraints in creating an environment capable of supporting social interaction, previous research findings indicate that social presence is a key factor for social interaction. In addition, previous research has pointed out that social presence is affected by individual, social response and media variables, suggesting that an interface design might enhance social presence. This chapter explores the interface design by investigating how placing an emphasis on interaction facilities and incorporating text, images and animation affects students’ experiences of interacting with each other. The overall conclusion is that the interface design can increase the number of interactions and enhance the perceived social presence in e-learning environments.

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