Learning is a social process (Harasim, 2002; Swan & Shea, 2005; Tu, 2000). Discourse plays a key role in the social process of learning (Harasim, 2002). Therefore, it is extremely important that we understand how students and teachers socially interact in online courses where asynchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) is the major form of discourse. Theories of social presence help explain how students and teachers interact and learn online.
Patrick R. Lowenthal. "Social Presence" Social computing: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Ed. S. Dasgupta. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2010. 129-136.