Although the majority of my facilitation was based upon a safety aspect within an online environment, it was evident that modifications can be adjusted to meet the learning needs of learner’s dependent on the context. Facilitators must take an active role to ensure that the learners are actively engaged with discussions and activities as well as set clear expectations with the learners at the beginning of the course.
My thoughts on my original Questions.
2. How can you incorporate multiple learning styles into your teachings to ensure learner success within an online learning environment?
Incorporating multiple learning styles into your teachings is essential for learner success. To ensure that you are incorporating multiple learning styles within the online learning environment using a community of inquiry is an essential resource as it focuses on the foundations of online educational experiences for learners (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Using the three key foundational strategies to facilitate a community of learners actively engaged in an online digital learning environment. Giving opportunity to explore, create and gain a deeper understanding of course content Social, cognitive and teaching presences are an essential part of online facilitation (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005) If all three presences are successfully integrated and facilitated, “higher-order learning emerges in a community of inquiry (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005).
2. Is it possible to create an inclusive online environment that will promote critical thinking?
As I have learned over the nine weeks Cognitive presence is an essential foundational component within a digital learning environment. It encourages cognitive development through curiosity, critical inquiry, reflection and collaboration, Thus, provoking critical thinking skills and processes required for learning (Anderson et al., 2001). By incorporating the following into digital online environments, it allows the learner to reflect on their learning thus increase critical thinking.
- Encourage Curiosity by incorporating rich discussions and debate.
- Encourage critical inquiry with open-ended questions.
- Encourage reflection with self-assessments.
- Encourage collaboration through assessments, group work and discussions
My three Final thoughts.
- Ensuring your course design is clear, concise and easy to follow, will allow the learner to have a better understanding of expectations thus creating a deeper level of learning.
- Facilitation methods are and essential part of the creating an environment where learners feel safe. Social presence is the key to a thriving online learning environment. It provides an opportunity for the learner to build relationships within a safe learning community, encouraging a sense of belonging. It also allows the learner to feel real, allowing for the opportunity to participate in rich discussions, personal expression and creating a critical connection to learning within a community (Anderson et al., 2001)
- Within an online digital learning environment, learner will face the challenge of motivation and consistent engagement. It is common knowledge that we all have human needs. Encouraging a sense of belonging in a digital learning environment is essential. By doing so, creates a community where learners feel safe, supported, and most importantly, motivated to engage in activities.
Over the facilitation weeks, I found myself engaged with the learning activities and it left me wanting to know more. The facilitation was a large part of my engagement, with prompting questions and a variation of activities I felt I was more engaged than I have been previously in other courses. This has been an exceptional learning experience and has become very beneficial allowing me to modify my teachings to ensure my learners have a engaging learning experience that allows them to not only expand their knowledge but to encourage critical thinking.
My final thought is that we are often too critical of ourselves and don’t give ourselves enough credit. It is important to remember that throughout life and the world of online learning we are all going to have positive and negative experiences. How we react to those experiences and what we do with them is the key to success.
Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v5i2.1875
Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction Is Not Enough. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 21(1), 133–148. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15389286ajde1903_2
Gray, J. A., & Diloreto, M. (2016). The Effects of Student Engagement, Student Satisfaction, and Perceived Learning in Online Learning Environments. NCPEA International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 11(1).