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An Evaluation of Social Connectedness Online

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By Dr Andree Swanson Picture by Dr. Andree Swanson Communicating in the online learning environment is difficult at best.  To feel connected to faculty and fellow students is almost impossible.  Interpersonal exchanges are “more difficult for online students to engage in the kinds of collaborative peer interactions that often result in the construction of meaning and achievement of learning goals” (Slagter van Tryon & Bishop, 2012, p. 347).  Slagter van Tryon and Bishop (2006) have been studying the topic of social connectivity as it relates to student engagement and interaction, and coined the phrase e-connectivity (e-mmediacy).  Swanson, Hutkin, Babb, and Howell (2010) defined as:  “ E-mmediacy or e-connectivity is the feelings or believing of social connectedness that students and faculty get through the technologically enhanced online learning environment (Slagter van Tyson, 2007; Slagter van Tyson & Bishop, 2006)” (p. 17). Before this current study, there