The notion that “social presence” might help with retention in online programs has prompted vendors to infuse their online learning platforms with more social media tools, particularly synchronous text- and video-chat features. The co-presenters from National-Louis — the education professor Kathleen M. Sheridan and the instructional designer Melissa A. Kelly — were careful to avoid implying that such tools are ineffectual gimmicks. But they did caution the audience against employing them for the wrong reasons.
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