A community is a group of people with a connection: in a community of inquiry, the community members’ connection is their participation in the learning environment. A community of inquiry should foster a desire to engage and learn, and should nurture the community which it houses. Within the online world, the community of inquiry should seek to connect people and maximize personal interaction. The ultimate goal is deep meaningful learning.
This infographic is rooted in adult learning and offers strategies within the three pillars of a community of inquiry: teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. It’s presented as a Venn diagram to underscore that these pillars are not isolated; they work in conjunction with each other. If one is missing, then the structure will fail. Where the circles intersect, I have offered the desired results of the strategies as they combine with one another.
Within the social presence, each of the suggestions is designed to foster an open and safe space for learners. The cognitive presence builds on the safe space, and encourages self-expression and creative risk-taking. The third pillar, teaching presence builds on the idea of teacher as facilitator. As Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2010) note, evidence shows that the teaching presence is of key importance within the triad.
Ultimately, if a community of instruction is successful, learners will not be able to parse out and separate each of these three elements. In fact, in my experience, a successful community of inquiry will be one in which the learning, social and cognitive elements blend seamlessly into a cohesive whole which facilitates interaction and discovery.
Bull, B. (2013). Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher. Retrieved from: https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/eight-roles-of-an-effective-online-teacher/
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2010). The first decade of the community of inquiry framework: a retrospective. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1), 5–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.10.003
Richardson, J., Caskurlu, S., & Ashby, I. (2018). Facilitating your online discussions. Retrieved from: https://www.purdue.edu/innovativelearning/supporting-instruction/portal/files/8_Discussion_Board_Facilitation.pdf
Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.