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I currently do not teach; however, I based my Community of Inquiry (CoI) strategies on the course I would like to teach in the future. The course, titled Global Citizenship, is delivered in a hybrid modality. This course examines social justice topics, while exploring concepts like social responsibility.

The CoI framework is where students through the interaction of social, cognitive and teaching presence achieve higher order learning by engaging in reflective practice and critical thinking and discourse (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). The CoI framework can be used to offer approaches that will support teaching and learning in both face-to-face and online delivery.

Social presence is central to the learning environment for the hybrid course. This course utilizes group work that is mainly online or out of class time and topics are explored where there may be diverse, conflicting perspectives and worldviews. Modeling respectful and upbeat behaviour on and offline as the facilitator plays a key role in establishing social presence (Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes & Garrison, 2013). Additionally, establishing group norms, as well as creating opportunities for students to get to know each other prior to being in groups, are important for the facilitation of critical conversations in a hybrid environment.

In considering the cognitive presence, students should be encouraged to think critically about concepts and engage in self-reflection. Vaughan et al. (2013) states that “opportunity for increased interaction, timely reflection, and continuous debate…provides a very supportive environment for inquiry dynamics.” (p. 55). To facilitate an exchange of information and knowledge, students can be asked open-ended questions, these questions encourage students to think critically independently and spur discussion in groups (Richardson, 2018). Moreover, students as knowledge holders of their own experiences, can be prompted to explore relevant topics of personal interest and to bring forward new sources to share with peers, becoming central to the process of knowledge construction and curation within the class.

Lastly, the teaching presence is integral to a hybrid course, especially one with a degree of subjectivity. Students are highly encouraged to share their experiences both in class and online. Providing clear instructions for the course direction and expectations is important to the student experience as they navigate a hybrid modality (Vaughan et al., 2013). Moreover, providing foundational resources to anchor student understanding within the topics while offering guidance and direction when introducing new topics. Also, to encourage engagement timely feedback for learning activities, such as discussion boards and assignments will be essential (University of Waterloo, n.d.). In aspiring to teach tin a hybrid course, the COI framework can be leveraged through social, cognitive and teaching presence, to foster a quality learning experience.

 

References

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), pp. 87-105. Retrieved from http://cde.athabascau.ca/coi_site/documents/Garrison_Anderson_Archer_Critical_Inquiry_model.pdf

Richardson J. (2018). Varying your discussion prompts as an instructional strategy (PDF), Purdue Repository for Online Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from https://www.purdue.edu/innovativelearning/supporting-instruction/portal/files/8.1_Varying_your_Discussion_Prompts_as_an_Instructional_Strategy.pdf

University of Waterloo. (n.d.). Online Discussions: Tips for Instructors. Retrieved from https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/alternatives-lecturing/discussions/online-discussions-tips-for-instructors

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca University Press. Chapter 3: Facilitation (pp. 45-61). Retrieved from https://www.aupress.ca/books/120229-teaching-in-blended-learning-environments/