Abstract—With the exponential development of Internet,
distance learning has become an alternative means of taking a
course or earning a degree. Social presence is a critical factor for
forming and sustaining learning communities that support
deeper learning through knowledge sharing. Social presence
does not happen spontaneously and is in need of cultivation. This
paper explores a review of the literature on social presence and
the use of multimedia in distance education. The review of
literature indicates that the advent of technological innovation
in communications provides new mechanisms and opportunities
in the distance learning environment. The findings from the
literature review suggest that with the integration of multimedia
into classrooms, instructors can increase social presence, enrich
student’s learning experience and raise student’s satisfaction to
reduce time and physical barriers existing in the online learning
Index Terms—Distance learning, social presence, multimedia, learning community, adult learner, teaching presence.
Hwang-Ji Lu is with Ashford University, USA (e-mail: hwangji.lu@Ashford.edu).
Cite: Hwang-Ji Lu, "Sustainability of e-Learning Environment: Can Social Presence Be Enhanced by Multimedia?," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 291-296, 2017.