Connecting Through Flipgrid

Examining Social Presence of English Language Learners in an Online Course During the Pandemic

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.19647

Keywords:

computer-mediated communication, video discussion platform, social presence, virtual learning community

Abstract

This study focuses on the social presence framework (Rourke et al., 2001), in order to examine the ways that university-level international students develop social interaction and support in a virtual asynchronous learning community in an online class during the COVID-19 pandemic. English language learners (ELLs) participated in weekly online exchanges on a video discussion platform called Flipgrid in the form of oral dialogue journals for reflection on their academic learning and experiences during these disruptive times. These ELLs’ video journals and peer responses (N = 198) were collected for content analysis, in order to investigate how the use of video-based asynchronous computer-mediated communication (ACMC) can establish positive social and emotional support and a sense of community. The findings of the study indicate that ACMC was successful in establishing interconnectedness in terms of high levels of selfdisclosure, positive facial expressions, and other indicators of social and emotional support, demonstrating social presence. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of how social presence is expressed and fostered in videobased ACMC communities during emergency remote teaching.

Author Biographies

Ellen Yeh, Columbia College Chicago

Ellen Yeh (PhD), is an Assistant Professor in the English and Creative Writing Department and serves as Director of English as an Additional Language Program at Columbia College Chicago. She holds a TESOL Certificate and CALL Certificate. Her research interests include media literacy in teacher education, social media literacy, CALL, intercultural communication, and family diversity in education.

Grace Y. Choi, Columbia College Chicago

Grace Y. Choi (PhD, University of Missouri) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at Columbia College Chicago, focusing on social media, digital literacy, and media effects. Her work identifies how the creative use of social media can have an impact in terms of increasing technical skills, efficacy, and diverse representations.

Yonty Friesem, Columbia College Chicago

Yonty Friesem is Associate Director of Media Education Lab and an Assistant Professor of communication and civic media at Columbia College Chicago. His work and research in media literacy focus on improving students’ social and emotional skills in formal and informal settings using production as civic media project-based learning. (See https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8463-7660.)

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Published

2022-01-04

How to Cite

Yeh, E., Choi, G. Y., & Friesem, Y. (2022). Connecting Through Flipgrid: Examining Social Presence of English Language Learners in an Online Course During the Pandemic. CALICO Journal, 39(1), 26–52. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.19647

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