CIDER Session – Social affordances, social presence and sociable online learning environments: A study of the SIPS model in action

There is a CIDER webinar later this week.  While the session isn’t specifically K-12 focused, we felt that the topic might be of interest to many of our membership

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Dear CIDER Member,

We invite you to our third session for the 2018-19 CIDER Sessions series on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. This free, online session will feature Joshua Weidlich of FernUniversität in Hagen.

Title: Social affordances, social presence and sociable online learning environments: A study of the SIPS model in action

Students in distance education often study under conditions of relative social isolation. This is also reflected in online learning environments that are not sociable but aloof. This session will first introduce the SIPS model and then report on a field-setting quasi-experiment conducted at FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany. It will describe an “ecological” approach to designing sociable online learning environments and fostering socio-emotional variables such as social presence, and discuss the concept of social affordances and sociability as proposed by the SIPS model.

The results of the study are promising in that they show support for this approach to making learning environments more sociable, as well as effects on social presence, satisfaction, and other variables. These findings will be discussed in terms of their relevance for future research as well as their applicability for practitioners.

When: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 – 11am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. CIDER Sessions are recorded and archived for later viewing through the CIDER website. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit us at:

Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education. The Sessions and their recordings are open and available to all, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University
Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research
1200, 10011 – 109 Street
EdmontonAB T5J 3S8