Social Presence and Online Communication: A response to Mersham


  • Benjamin Kehrwald Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning


This article draws upon contemporary social presence theory and research into presence, social presence, and computer-mediated communication to highlight the role of social presence in mitigating the perceived deficiencies in online communication highlighted by Gary Mersham in the preceding issue of this publication. The case discusses issues of mediated experience, the development of interpersonal relations between online communicators, and the function of social presence. It concludes with advice for practitioners in promoting effective online communication in technology-enhanced learning.

Author Biography

Benjamin Kehrwald, Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning

Ben Kehrwald is an online learning specialist with two decades of experience working with educational technologies.  He has worked on a number of development and teaching projects in the USA, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.  He is currently a Senior Lecturer, Academic Development in the Learning and Teaching Unit at the University of South Australia