The purpose of the below infographic is to provide recommendations for achieving a balanced attention to the three presences of the Community of Inquiry model (Teaching, Social, Cognitive) in synchronous online learning environments within the corporate organization. For corporate synchronous learning (webinars) to be effective and engaging, a single topic may be delivered within a 45-60-minute session. Longer modules may necessitate multiple sessions to cover the subject matter, thus requiring additional resources and staff availability.
During an online educational experience, the CoI presences (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) are converging as the discourse evolves. Therefore, both facilitator and participants experience the presences in a non-linear fashion with overlapping parts, such as content selection, setting the climate and supporting the discourse. More importantly, the steps outlined below are covering all CoI presences and are offering a recommended sequence for the design, development, implementation and learning evaluation of a short online synchronous session, such as a webinar.
Steps 1, 2 and 3 are focusing on the identification of the training need, content and technology selection, and content development to ensure that teaching presence is effective and allows content understanding while providing “hooks” for the discourse.
While developing the material, in Step 4, the facilitator designs e-tivities (Salmon, 2006) and icebreakers to set a climate where participants are feeling a sense of social presence within the virtual space and ensure understanding of the content.
In step 5, the instructor prepares to facilitate and tests the material for adequate timing and functionality. While facilitating, conversations can be dynamic and the frequency of the facilitator’s intervention can vary. Therefore, the facilitator should be ready to adapt the content as necessary depending on how the discourse is developing and whether there are (or not) signs of cognitive presence.
In step 6, the facilitator seeks to provide additional opportunities for content understanding by allowing students to ask questions or moderates the online chat (if available) for any items requiring attention. In addition, he/she summarizes key learning points and provides feedback as necessary.
Finally, before the end of the session, it is recommended that the facilitator administers a quick poll to measure pre and post-learning effectiveness. After the end of the session, an online survey can be distributed to collect feedback for improving the learning experience.
PDF of the infographic: Infographic_Assignment
Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2018). Online educators’ recommendations for teaching online: Crowdsourcing in action. Open Praxis, 10(1), 79–89.