To identify best practices and evidence-based strategies for creating an online learning environment that encompasses caring behaviors and promotes social presence.BACKGROUND
Faculty who teach online classes are challenged to create a sense of social presence and caring behaviors in a virtual world in which students feel connected and part of the learning environment.METHOD
To extrapolate evidence to support best practices, a review of literature was conducted focused on social presence and caring online.RESULTS
Faculty messages that are respectful, positive, encouraging, timely, and frequent foster social presence and caring behaviors while also allowing for caring interactions, mutual respect, and finding meaning in relationships.CONCLUSION
A variety of measures to emulate caring online intertwine with social presence to promote a sense of caring and belonging. More research is needed to support the evidence for these strategies.