Social presence and teacher involvement: The link with expectancy, task value, and engagement

Ordene V. Edwards, Kennesaw State University
Gita Taasoobshirazi, Kennesaw State University


Students' social experiences are critical to their academic success, including determining their motivation and engagement. However, little is known about how various social factors, including social presence and teacher involvement, relate to expectancy, task value, and facets of engagement in online learning. Using path modeling to analyze the survey responses of 122 college students, we examined the relations among social presence, teacher involvement, expectancy, task value, and cognitive and behavioral engagement guided by the situated expectancy-value theory. We discovered that social presence predicted expectancy, task value, and behavioral engagement, and task value impacted cognitive engagement. We found a mediating effect of expectancy-to-task value in the link between social presence and cognitive engagement. Overall, the predictive influence of expectancy on task value was critical in the model. Interestingly, teacher involvement did not play a role. These findings confirm the significance of online social features to motivation and engagement and further highlight the value of motivation for online learning success. Therefore, it is important to design online learning environments whereby students feel socially connected and motivated.