The article underscores the importance of making a good first impression, as all exchanges with others communicate something about the author's nature and competance and help determine the social pecking order of the group. Using a Delphi methodology, the authors recommend the following to improve social presence:
- Providing opportunity for students to develop a group structure, through high quantity and quality social interaction.
- Providing comprehensive technical support.
- Providing persistent follow-up, particularly so that students are paced in their discourse so that the exchange does not become isolating and is socially consistent.
While 'social presence' is not new and is now understood reasonably well, the article does provide an important focus on what continues to be a central aspect of online discourse.