Presence, Agency, and Context: Students' Experiences Engaging in Creative Group Processes in an Online Educational Environment
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Group assignments are often used by university instructors in attempts to foster the soft skills students will need when entering the workplace, including communication and creativity. Of particular interest are creative group processes, as these require unique supports when conducted in the online environment into which the majority of students and instructors were thrust due to COVID-19. By conducting interviews with 13 students and gathering survey responses from 374 students enrolled in courses in the Fall 2020 semester, and synthesizing findings with those of prior research, this study has identified university students’ preferences, beliefs, and perceptions concerning group work and creative group processes in an online environment. A blended theoretical framework has emerged, illustrating the significance of the interaction of social presence, cognitive presence, teaching presence, and agency, along with the influence of multiple layers of context, on a student’s experience engaging in creative group processes in an online environment.