image credit: (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 1999)
“An educational community of inquiry is a group of individuals who collaboratively engage in purposeful critical discourse and reflection to construct personal meaning and confirm mutual understanding.” (“CoI Framework | CoI,” n.d.)
A Community of Inquiry’s (CoI) success is achieved through the careful combination and cultivation of three key elements: Cognitive, Social, and Teaching presence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 1999). The combination of these unique states provides a fertile environment for cognitive growth and development by bringing the learner and facilitator together in a mutually creative space. Anderson, Archer and Garrison state that the most fundamental element of these three states is that of cognitive presence as they feel that only through sustained communication can learners construct personal meaning.
The Cognitive Presence section of my facilitation strategy is designed to encourage the learner and facilitator to grow the general knowledge base by encouraging open conversations, directly apply learning through experiential learning activities, and facilitate reflection and review to deepen learning and understanding.
I include the promotion of ongoing conversational style of questioning to encourage participation and expression while challenging societal norms associated with formal learning. This places all actors on the same social level and eliminates any perceived distance between the facilitator and learner through the use of bidirectional communication and open discourse between them (Ertmer & Newby, 2013).
Collaborative experiential learning activities delivered in an à la carte style gives the learners personal agency over their education while providing an opportunity to demonstrate learning. Reflection and review is promoted through learner generated personal learning summaries, town hall style forums and a feedback / feed forward mechanism. This mechanism also supports the development of Social Presence.
Social presence strategies include the sharing of previous learning and professional experiences within the subject matter context. Once again communication plays a significant role in the development of this state.
With virtual interactions lacking the human elements that are subconsciously perceived during face to face interactions; it is vital that the actors all project themselves as real and authentic. This authenticity can be achieved through demonstrations of humility and fallibility which places everyone in a relatable position within the group.
The Teaching Presence state is where the ground work is laid to ensure the relevancy and quality of the curriculum is established. Including initial input from the Professional Association Committee (PAC) will ensure the subject matter is valid and current. While the material curriculum will be hosted on an open learning management system that supports a flipped classroom style of delivery. This style of delivery will provide learners the opportunity to explore subject matter topics in advance of learning sessions and to begin to structure the learning in ways that is relatable to their context.
This CoI strategy is developed with the intention that students in my classes will have the best opportunity for personal growth and development. Achieving a personal level of subject matter mastery to promote the furthering of their chosen career path.
CoI Framework | CoI. (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2020, from https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model/
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features From an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43–71. https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21143
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2–3), 87–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6