Editor’s Note: The author raises a plethora of issues to be solved in the new technology saturated educational environment. Should learning institutions provide technology and support equivalent to modern business in order to truly support learning?
Cultivating Social Presence in the Online Learning Classroom:
A Literature Review with Recommendations for Practice
In the traditional classroom research indicates that social presence enhances instructional delivery and the classroom experience. Despite earlier held notions about the online learning classroom being devoid of social cues, social presence has emerged as a quality emphasizing the connections between participants that serves to enhance both student satisfaction, perceptions of learning, and retention. By defining social presence, understanding how to measure it and exploring the ways in which teachers, instructional designers, and students can enhance social presence, a richer, more engaging learning community can be formed in the online learning classroom. This paper seeks to define social presence and present best practices for cultivating social presence in the online learning classroom through a literature review.
As greater numbers of students and their schools turn to their computers for education, many people question whether or not online learning can deliver the same results that a traditional classroom with a teacher and other students can. The resulting research, much of it catalogued on No Significant Difference website, indicates that little to no difference exists between online and on-ground classes in terms of student outcomes (Hofmann, 2002, p. 30; Burnett, 2001). Rovai aptly summarizes: “it is the method not the media that matters most in learning effectiveness” (2002, p. 41). What used to distinguish distance and traditional education is evaporating (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996, p. 403).
The promise of the research into the lack of difference between face-to-face and online learning classrooms further drove the adoption of online learning and also sparked more research into how to improve online learning (Wulff, Hanor, & Bulik, 2000). As Palloff and Pratt note, the time for concern, “with best practices and improving interaction and interactivity is upon us” (2005, p. 3). One area of great interest to both researchers and teachers is social presence theory.
While much of the research into social presence theory seeks to define it, measure it, or explore its benefits, little finds its sole focus on ways to cultivate it. Many researchers provide some listing of best practices as revealed by their findings, but few seek to fully categorize and test the ways in which social presence can be fostered and encouraged in the online community (Wise, Chang, Duffy, & Del Valle, 2004, p. 265). This paper seeks to offer practical ways to cultivate social presence in the online classroom.
Keywords: Social presence theory, constructivism, constructivist, social presence, instructional design, best practices, emoticons, small group work, chat rooms, blogs, netiquette, online learning, computer-mediated classroom, audio, facilitation
Defining Social Presence
Short, Williams, and Christie (1976) defined social presence as both a factor of the communication media and the level at which people involved in a transaction via that media feel socially aware of each other. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), despite its lack of social cues, can engage, interest and stimulate students (Gunawardena, 1995). The concept of social presence can be defined as the amount to which a person feels “socially present” in their environment (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996, p. 408). Tu & McIsaac offer that “social presence is the degree of feeling, perception, and reaction to being connected by CMC” to another person through text (2002, p. 140). A simple definition “sense of being with another” (Biocca, 2003) captures the main thrust of social presence, but this fails to capture the other factors at work such as connectedness and community. Being social presence implies more than just being with another, but being connected or engaged with that other in some form of exchange.
Recommendations for Cultivating Social Presence
Social presence can be cultivated in the online learning classroom (Gunawardena, 1995, p. 162). Cultivating social presence in the online learning classroom falls in the hands of teachers, instructional designers, and students. These three groups must work together to face the challenge of creating social presence in the virtual world.
Many people cite the adage, “guide on the side, not the sage on the stage” when discussing online learning classrooms. The role of the teacher automatically shifts when the physical is replaced by the virtual. Employing new instructional strategies will afford teachers and their online learning classrooms greater success in building a social presence space where students learn actively from each other, the instructor and the content. The new role of the instructor should be “redefined as a facilitator, organizer, and manager” (Cooper & Hendrick-Keefe, 2001, p. 566). Online teachers must realize their role in shaping the social aspects of the online classroom (Rovai, 2002, p. 53). Gunawardena & Zittle (1997) note that student’s perceptions of social presence will depend on the atmosphere created by the teacher in the online learning classroom. The teacher plays a critical part in establishing social presence for the entire learning community (Wise, Chang, Duffy & Del Valle, 2004). The teacher that seeks to hone skills and techniques related to forming social presence will be the ones most likely to impact students perceptions (Gunawardena, 1995). There are several ways suggested in the literature for promoting and developing social presence in the online learning classroom.
Feedback & time
In order to generate social presence between students and the teacher, the teacher must take into account the isolation felt by students when online communication lags. If time frame expectations are not met, students feel less socially connected in the online learning classroom (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 144). Answering email with a shorter turn-around time is pertinent to fostering social presence in the online learning classroom (Aragon, 2003, p. 64). Immediacy stems directly from timely response to email (Woods & Ebersole, 2003).
Feedback in an online classroom is more important than in a face-to-face class; if not told exactly how they are doing, students have no other non-verbal cues to go on (Vrasidas & McIsaac, 2000, p.6). Feedback also offers acknowledgment and immediacy (Woods & Ebserole, 2003).
Facilitation of discussion
An instructor’s role in the discussion board is varied; they must offer information, provide feedback and corrections, and ask questions. Instructors must also manage the socio-emotional side of the classroom by quenching any flames, drawing out lurkers, and toning down more loud participants (Rovai, 2001).
Teachers must also be participants in the discussion board (Aragon, 2003, p. 63); as discussed later, modeling appropriate behavior goes a long way toward establishing the norms within the classroom. While teachers may not reply to all discussion postings, students should also be aware that their work is read by the teacher, thus promoting immediacy and acknowledgement of the exchange (Aragon, 2003, p. 64).
Discussion board must also be managed in terms of their organization and page-view set-up. Multiple threads and the variety of discussion can be overwhelming and isolating (Picciano, 2002, p. 23; Tu, 2002b). Clearly labeling discussion forums and changing the subject headings for replies can go a long way toward sorting and shaping the discussion board. Guidelines should also be in place for instructing students on how to properly manage their postings through the reply feature and subject headings (de Bruyn, 2004). When discussions are left unchecked and unorganized, learning is not promoted; messages must be organized according to a well defined structure that stabilizes and promotes cognition (Thomas, 2002).
Text-based communication may “say” exactly what spoken words convey in terms of meaning, but the text-based communication lacks the inflection of voice, the nod of the head, the hand gesture, or the smile or the frown that gives the communication added meaning, such as tone. The tone of our spoken communication is effected by a variety of physical cues,; text-based communication we must be more out-spoken about our tone and actually tell people when we are making a joke, or happy, or sad, or confused (Weiss, 2000, p. 48). By adding a statement of tone like, “I’m joking here” or “Wow—can you explain that a different way, I am having a hard time understanding,” teachers can foster relationships with their students in a much more clear and direct fashion. Adding the statement of tone, while seeming awkward to write, helps to clarify the context of the text-based communication and helps to avert any damaging miscommunication (Aragon, 2003, p. 65).
The use of emoticons (Weiss, 2000, p. 49) can also add clarity to the context and help forge connections between participants in the online learning classroom. Emoticons mimic facial expressions through text (Aragon, 2003, p. 65). In order for humans for form connections, they must be able to share feelings and emotions (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 143). Emoticons offer a short-hand way to express emotions, feelings add context, and create an informal atmosphere through text (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997, p. 10; Gunawardena, 2002). The use of emoticons may also increase student’s feelings of satisfaction with the class (Gunawardena, 2002). See Figure 1: Common Emoticons for a listing of some common choices.
Figure 1: Common Emoticons
Sharing personal information
While some instructors hesitate at breaking the barrier between personal and professional lives, in the online learning classroom sharing personal information offers teachers with a way to connect to students and to show them connections from the class to real world material, while building social presence (Aragon, 2003, p. 65). This personal information could also be housed on a website showcasing the less academic side of teacher (Savery, 2005).
Just as humor works to diffuse tense situations in face-to-face contexts, humor can be used in the online classroom to foster social presence. Humor “reduces social distance and conveys goodwill” by offering students something to share in (Aragon, 2003, p. 65). Humor has also been tied to improving learning outcomes (Woods & Ebersole, 2003).
A surprising source of humor for the online classroom comes from a commercial source: greeting card companies that offer online e-cards. Periodically throughout the term, at holiday times or prior to stressful periods like midterms or major paper assignments, teachers can send students e-cards to their email address. If chosen appropriately, an e-card can get both a laugh, support, and a connection to the students.
These e-cards can also be used when students share personal milestones or challenges such as new children or grandchildren, deaths in the family, or illness. Reaching out the “virtual Hallmark card” shows students that the teacher not only cares but that they are paying attention. See Figure 2: You Can Do It E-card for an example of a motivational e-card.
Figure 2: Animated You Can Do it E-Card
The rise in the online learning classroom enables us to use a variety of communication methods to reach out to students. Email is one very rapid and informal way of sharing insight, feedback, or support with students. Email can be broadcast to a group for general announcements or can be specific and personal for one-on-one communication.
Encouraging the use of email between students also fosters the creation of a socially present online learning classroom (Leh, 2001). Email is a less formal medium, and students can be informal and more personal with each other outside of the class context (Leh, 2001). Email is the form of communication commonly used in the personal lives of students; students are accustomed to sharing jokes, funny video clips, and Internet shopping coupons with friends and family online. Encourage them to do the same with classmates increases social presence by extending student’s already existing social networks to include classmates.
One of main benefits to a socially present online learning classroom stems from the supportive framework students and teachers can provide one another. And like many aspects of creating a socially present classroom, a circular relationship exists; if teachers offer support to students in terms of their personal situations in addition to content issues, thereby displaying a higher level of social presence through their awareness of student’s lives, students then in turn feel greater social presence. Email also allows the students to engage in a more personal way with their teacher (Woods & Ebersole, 2003).
One way to offer such support is through the off-topic email that seeks to “check-in” with students and asks them how they are doing both in terms of the class and their personal lives (Perry & Edwards, 2005). Figure 3: Checking In Email provides an example of one such email.
Figure 3: Checking In Email
The student response to this email demonstrates how students reacted in a way that would demonstrate high levels of social presence. They shared personal information and gratitude for the offer of support:
Thanks very much! I can't believe that this term will be over next week!!
Thank you so much I just have a ton going on, this is my sixth senior class this semester and I am just trying to get by with everything. I am sorry that I put a lot of my online work off until the end of the week, but those are my only time off between regular classes and working 40 hours. I will try harder to do more in the discussion board and a little earlier. I am sorry that I haven't done as good as I would have liked to I just have an overloaded plate right now. I will try harder for the next couple of weeks. Thank you for the email.
Thank you so much for reaching out to us this way! This is very kind and refreshing to have a professor that is so reachable. Things are going ok for me so far. I am really enjoying this class.
Actually, I've thought about emailing you but never did. I am having trouble keeping up with everything right now. I am taking additional classes which also meant working more to pay for those classes. I'm full time day with extra online classes. My boyfriend of awhile and I suddenly broke up, which also took quite a toll on me. In addition to all of that, my cat became very ill and I have been in and out of hospitals with him, blood transfusions and the whole nine yards, which sounds crazy I know but I love him. Anyhow, I was kind of embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn't keep up with my work and unfortunately avoided asking for help. I know I should have contacted you earlier but I just can't seem to find the time for things right now. I messed up and I apologize. I just feel like life is a little out of control right now. Thank you for your concern and again, I'm so sorry for not contacting you sooner. I will do my best to keep up for the remaining weeks.
The above experience is similar to one recounted in Woods (2002). Students, while they did not demonstrate higher levels of social presence due to email when completing a social presence assessment tool, demonstrated high levels of social presence through replies to the teacher’s email expressing gratitude for the teacher’s efforts (Woods, 2002).
In addition to email, teachers may wish to consider vmail, audio files attached to email. Though research indicates that email and vmail contribute equally to the creation of social presence (Johnson & Keil, 2002).
New software also enables teachers to create .mp3 files to share with students via file exchange programs or email. Creating .mp3 files adds a voice to the text, supplies and added social cue, and works to further connect the student to the teacher. Audacity, free audio recording and editing software can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.
One caution is that not all students have the capabilities to download and play large audio files. Teachers must take care that they understand the technological limitations of their student’s computing hardware and computing skills.
Modeling desired behavior
One of the best ways to encourage a certain way of participating is to model that behavior for students (Weiss, 2000, p. 50; Palloff & Pratt, 2005, p. 22). If the professor uses first names (Aragon, 2003, p. 65; Bibeau, 2001), with careful attention to spelling and learning nicknames, in their postings or pulls quotations from student’s replies to comment on or question, the members of the class will see that style of contribution and hopefully begin to emulate that style of dialogue (Stacey, 2000, p. 145). Teachers need to give what they hope to expect from their online students (Stacey, 2000, p. 146). Students will follow the lead offered by teachers (Savery, 2005). By providing concrete examples in their own postings, teachers offer students valuable lessons in how to participate (Vrasidas & McIsaac, 2000, p. 7).
Managing small group work
One suggestion for allowing this social presence to develop in the small group space is that teacher must monitor but not dominate the discussions; teachers should offer guidance when groups struggle, but allow students plenty of leeway in shaping of their small group work (Stacey, 2000, p. 150).
Prior to the start of small group work, the teacher may wish to explain the purpose of the group work and encourage the groups to set out and agree to their own rules of conduct; doing so enables students to engage with and buy-in to the process (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Any steps you take to ensure successful student engagement with their classmates or the content increases the chances that a socially present learning community will be formed.
When small group is in the new stages, teacher may also offer additional guidance in the form of assigned roles such as moderator, starter, or wrapper (deBruyn, 2004). The assigned roles helps students know where to begin when faced with the independence of the small group work assignment; this added comfort protects and encourages social presence. Additionally, if students feel they need the other member of the group to complete the task and receive their grade, they worked harder at group cohesiveness (Kreijins, 2003).
Instructional Design Issues
The online learning classroom in its shift from the physical to the virtual may require new ways of approaching instructional design to best capitalize on the qualities that the online learning classroom offers (Mortera-Gutierrez, 2002, p.191). Designing the online learning classroom with an eye towards creating social presence is one such way that instructional design can be used to meet the challenge of the virtual classroom space.
When cultivating social presence in the online learning classroom, many teachers find the shift from teacher-led to student-led inquiry becomes not only possible but beneficial (King, 2002; Huang, 2002). Constructivism, first noted by Piaget (1969) which posits that students create meaning through their interactions with the material, peers, their environment, and their teachers, is uniquely suited for the online learning classroom (Palloff & Pratt, 2005, p. 6). The dialogue of a community of learners fosters critical and deeper thinking (Wulff, Hanor, & Bulik, 2000, p. 150). Palloff & Pratt offer several reasons why constructivism in the collaborative environment of the online learning classroom works:
Allows students to forge deeper knowledge
Encourages new ideas and critical thinking
Fosters shared goals and the beginnings of the learning community
Accommodates all types of learners and their unique styles
Supports and acknowledges cultural differences in learning (2005, pp. 6-7).
When students work together to build knowledge, interactivity is enhanced, intimacy is developed, and personal connections to both fellow students and the class content are forged (Wulff, Hanor, & Bulik, 2000, p. 158). Communication with both self and others through reflection and dialogue is “fundamental to individual and social presence” in the learning process (Wulff, Hanor, & Bulik, 2000, p. 159).
Technology, such as the conferencing tool now commonly know as the chat room, can create both immediacy and interaction in the online learning classroom as a way to build social presence (Lauzon, 1992). Synchronous communication is lauded as a way to dramatically increase immediacy and connections between students and the teacher; it is a much more personal engagement than the asynchronous discussion board (Wang & Newlin, 2001).
Real time chat offers both interaction, immediacy, communication of a social nature, and a sense of community. It requires that the teacher step away from their traditional in-charge role due to its informal nature and the ability of students to rapidly ask many questions. (Robertson & Klotz, 2001). By discussing both on-topic, on-content issues and off-topic, more personal information, the chat room presents a unique way to be at a distance yet foster social presence (Aragon, 2003, p. 64). Students in chat rooms may also come to view their instructor as a real person (Woods & Ebersole, 2003).
Discussion boards represent the prime area of engagement between students and students and the teacher in the online learning classroom. One way to increase engagement in the discussion board, and in turn, social presence, is to assign a grade appropriate to the level of interaction required. If an instructor places emphasis on discussion board participation with a grade weight of 20% and clear guidelines for participation, student engagement and community development are more likely to occur (Rovai, 2001, p. 45). A specific requirement for responses to fellow student’s postings, in addition to a clear grading rubric, also helps to ensure participation, and in turn, the formation of community (Swan, Shen & Hiltz, 2006).
Amount of discussion postings required is another areas of instructional design that can be design to foster social presence. Too many discussion postings, on too many topics, may serve to dis-engaged and overwhelm students (Tu, 2002a, p. 15). Requiring a smaller number of postings and specifying a target number for replies helps to direct the discussion board traffic and strike the balance between creating a learning community and a tidal wave.
Off-content or off-topic conversations often allow students in face-to-face settings to form community. Space in the online learning classroom should also be set aside for such conversations (Weiss, 2000, p. 49). This social space addresses the more personal and human side of students (Gunawardena, 2002). Social exchanges of an off-topic nature serve to build cohesiveness (Gunawardena, 1995). Consistent off-topic communication also serves to facilitate the development of social presence over time (Kreijns, 2003, p. 349). The instructor may even want to consider making this forum private, for student use only to encourage bonding among students (Weiss, 2000, p. 49).
Ice-breakers & welcoming messages
At the start of the class, many advocate the sharing of personal information and biography in the discussion forum or through the creation of a student homepage (Weiss, 2000, p. 49). Any information provided, whether it is text or visual helps students create an awareness of each other to begin the process of connecting (Aragon, 2003, p. 62).
Instructors should also supply the class with information about themselves and offer a welcome to the students (Aragon, 2003, p. 62).
Ice-breakers and warm activities can also serve to begin the interaction between students and content while fostering social presence at the same time. Instead of simply focusing the ice breaker activities on off-task, off-content topics, the teacher ask students to share something related to the content; this begins the process of on topic sharing and social presence (Wise, Chang, Duffy, & Del Valle, 2004).
Group work is often lauded as a way to make learning both more engaging and productive in the classroom, both face-to-face and online. Additionally, small group work is also seen as training for the professional arena. Using small groups online to collaborate on assignments also can add to the sense of social presence felt by participants. Moving from the main class forum to a smaller group forum, which is often student-led, creates a less formal space and greater ease for connecting socially (Stacey, 2000, p. 147). When students communicate amongst themselves, they feel more at ease and equal to their peers (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 142).
Another benefit to use of small group work lies the forming of a more personal support network within the large context of the online learning classroom; students that otherwise might feel isolated in the larger discussion used the small group experience to connect to others and the material (Stacey, 2000).
Just as the discussion board participation requirements and grading rubrics must be clearly spelled out to encourage and reward engagement, both the individual’s effort and the group’s effort should be graded (Palloff & Pratt, 2005, p. 44). The reward for collaboration must be built into the small group work experience (Kreijns, 2003).
To increase student’s interactions with the content small group work might benefit from an emphasis on case studies, simulations role playing, problem solving, and authentic learning (Palloff & Pratt, 2005; Huang, 2002). Bring the real world into the interaction between student and content and the interaction between student and student fosters interactivity, engagement, and promotes the building of a learning community (Swan, Shen, & Hiltz, 2006). Feeling socially present within the small group context enables students to work together successfully together to explore concepts and create meaning, just as the process of working together helps to generate greater feelings of social presence.
While small group learning exercises allow students to increase their levels of social presence in the online learning classroom, a study of 37 online students, choice in collaborative structure and teammates resulted in course higher satisfaction ratings (Stein & Wanstreet, 2003, p. 197). Providing students with some say in how they work in small groups may increase their satisfaction. The addition of choice acknowledges that not all learners desire or appreciate or perceive the same things in the online learning classroom (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 142). A small study of six Chinese graduate students concludes that the experience of social presence varies with users perceptions, culture, and experience; it is not a one size fits all concept (Tu, 2001). Gender may also play a role in a student’s desired level of social presence in the online learning classroom (Rovai, 2001). Adding choice to the structure of a group-learning situation could help to accommodate student’s preferences for varying degrees of social presence, increase a student’s comfort and satisfaction with the experience.
Many books offer teachers excellent advice for forming and managing collaboration and small group work in the online learning classroom. Tu (2004) offers twenty-one different ways to create an online collaborative community. Palloff and Pratt (2005) showcase the beneficial role of collaboration online in addition to concrete and specific detailed plans for implementation.
Time is also related to how social presence forms within an online learning classroom; for true social relationships to form we must allow students time to interact and engage (Kreijins, 2003). In order to best accommodate group formation and the development of social presence, we should allow students time to be off-topic with each other at the start of the term, and at the start of group projects. Building off-content focused time into the class space will afford students the opportunity to interact and engage. Do not expect social presence to occur rapidly; it is a simmering process.
Blogs like discussion boards rely on text to communicate information between participants. Unlike discussion boards however, blogs are typically hosted outside of the online learning classroom on commercial web service like Blogger (http://www.blogger.com). The use of this commercial space may remove a layer of formality from student expression. The commercial services also offer greater personalization for the posting space such as colors, photos, and music uploads. This opportunity to fully express themselves in text, visuals, and audio can enable students to authentically share their ideas with classmates and the teacher. By extending the online learning classroom beyond the scope of its own URL, students can increase their social and content connections with each other. This learner control fosters both social interaction and constructivist learning principles (Beldarrian, 2007).
Students also play a critical role in shaping the social presence of the online learning classroom. As key players in the equation of community building, students must be able to negotiate their interactions between classmates, the teacher, and the technology used to create the online learning classroom.
The interaction between student and technology is key in the determination of transactional distance and social presence. Some even posit that the interactions between students and technology creates a new “educational domain” (Morrison & Lauzon, 2001). If students are unable to use the online classroom they cannot fully engage with the material or the teacher or their fellow classmates; as such instructional design should take into account the learner, the technology available to them, and their computing skills (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996, p. 407). Eliminating sources of confusion promotes greater community (Rovai, 2002, p. 53). Confusion in the online learning classroom often stems from the interaction between students and technology. Incompatible files, dropped ISPs, and the inability to make use of online resources stymie students, their efforts at learning, and their engagement with the class. Technology can be a barrier with social implications (Bibeau, 2001).
To tackle this issue of the interaction between students and technology that stands as a barrier to forming a social present online learning classroom, teachers, instructional designers, students, and schools should ensure that students have a chance to explore the technology prior to the start of the class (Burnett, 2001, p. 4).
The world of the online classroom, devoid of visuals, populated by students holding down full-time jobs alongside family pressures and other classes, can be a tough place. People often dash into class, quickly type their replies, and dash on to the next challenge of the day. With the often hurried pace, students may lose site of their classmates on the receiving end of their work. Offended or confused, some students may reply with a flame email, a very negative email, often of a personal nature.
Offering an education in netiquette, the etiquette of online communication with students would provide a firm foundation for establishing a socially present classroom and a community of learners (Weiss, 2000, p. 50). The Internet offers a host of websites dedicated to the rules of netiquette. Broaching this subject with students and providing them with links to further information would ensure that all students know the conduct expected of them in this new type of classroom environment. Teachers may wish to create a discussion or brief quiz on the subject (Savery, 2005). Ensuring netiquette is adhered to in the online learning classroom safeguards the creation of a socially present environment.
Social presence theory offers a way to better shape the online learning classroom to meet student’s needs in the virtual world. By promoting the degree of connection between participants in the online learning classroom, students perceived satisfaction and perceived learning increase. In turn, this creates opportunities for use a student-focused learning environment and the fundamentals of constructivism to enhance both learning and the building a learning community.
When teachers, instructional designers, and students work together to cultivate social presence, the entire system of the online learning classroom benefits. The environment becomes richer and more engaging for all involved.
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About the Author
Brandi Scollins-Mantha is an online adjunct English professor for many colleges and universities. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University. She lives in Plainsboro, NJ, with her husband, Mahesh, and together, they home-school their daughter, Megan, and care for two corgis, Riley and Red Sharkey. When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills as the New Jersey State Adult Female FITA Recurve Champion.
Publishing credits include:
My Intended: A Novel published in March 2000 by William Morrow, Inc./HarperCollins
Floaters: A Novel published in March 2006 by Blast Press
“Toll Plazas and Truck Stops.” Pebble Lake Review, Fall 2004.
Intended Semi-finalist in James Fellowship for Novel in Progress 1998
“Holding Pattern.” The Literary Review, Fall 2001.
“Inner Harbor.” Pleiades, Spring 2002
“Palm Reader.” Kelsey Review, September 1999
“What’s Inside.” Folio, Fall 1999
“Getting It.” Kelsey Review, September 1998
“Toll Plazas and Trucks Stops,” 1997 Mississippi Review Prize, Entry of Merit.
“Chew Toys.” City Primeval, January 1997
“Family Heirloom.” Honorable Mention Seventeen Magazine Fiction Contest, 1994
Women’s Suffrage in Florida. Florida State Attorney General’s Commission on the Status of Women Annual Report, 1994
“A Phoenix Soap Opera.” Mangrove Review, 1994 edition