Аннотация: Online education has become extremely popular in recent years and has been seen as an alternative to face to face instruction. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it can reduce the problem of distance and time experienced by teachers and learners. Recent developments in online education show an increase in the use of synchronous communication tools that are similar to face to face interaction . Widely available web-video conference tools like Zoom offer real-time communication through a combination of audio, video and chat. Synchronous online technology has numerous advantages including live interaction between the participants, immediate response time, reduced travelling time, and creating a somewhat authentic classroom environment. To develop online learning environments and to improve their effectiveness, it is essential to take learners’ engagement into consideration. Learner engagement has been taken notice of, as it is known to promote learners’ retention and success in areas such as test performance, attaining a diploma, acquisition of knowledge, or skills and prevent boredom, disinterest, absenteeism, and dropout. Researchers claim that facilitating interaction and online learner participation are crucial for the enhancement of learning . Furthermore, the quality and frequency of interactions affects the value of an online learning platform. In other words, fostering a highly interactive online learning platform is necessary for a valuable learning experience. Social presence is “the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally as real people through the medium of communication being used” [3,p. 94). In other words, social presence is a popular construct used to understand how people socially interact in online learning environments .
Ключевые слова: Online education, communication, teaching methods, online learning platforms, the effectiveness of education, higher education, improving learners’ interaction