Emoticons and Social Presence
Last week I wrote about using emoticons in the classroom to help colleagues and students alike understand our intentions in our text-based communications. Now, I would like to discuss how using emoticons can increase social presence or the awareness of interpersonal connections within a communication. Since emoticons can help our reader understand our intended meaning, using emoticons can humanize or further socialize the online setting. Increased social presence has been linked to student satisfaction and increased student learning. Furthermore, students may be unaware of how best to use these in an academic setting, so faculty may need to model the uses of emoticons in different settings. Since, overuse can lead to confusion and a sense of insincerity, they must be used intentionally. Overall, using emoticons in our communications with students may help them further engage in their own learning process.
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