Our discussion questions :)

This topic contains 26 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Melissa Sunquist Melissa Sunquist 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #1044
    Avatar of Norm Vaughan
    Norm Vaughan
    Key Master

    Hi Everyone,

    Rob, is going to be our online discussion moderator this week and he has created the following three questions to help frame our discussion:

    1. Why is the COI an important part of blended learning?

    2. The COI framework is made of three elements social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. How would you implement these elements in your practice and design of learning materials?

    3. Thinking about the last question (#2) can you briefly talk about an online/distance/blended learning course that you have taken that fully incorporates these elements or if yourself have developed and taught courses using a COI framework. What did learn about the experience and what would you do differently?

    All the best, Norm

    1. #1056
      Avatar of Melissa Teal
      Melissa Teal
      Participant

      Hi Everyone,

      As I read through the posts this week, the term engagement has been mentioned often. I really like the idea of Genius hour. My husband worked in a Virtual Construction department and set up this concept for his team (he had read about the Google approach) so they could have a set time to play with new ideas to solve problems in their department, then once a month they would have a team share afternoon to share new ideas and methods. He saw an increase in ownership and motivation in the team members.

      I think that the concept of “teaching presence” from the Community of Inquiry framework provides opportunity for increased ownership, and hopefully increased engagement, for the learner. COI provides an approach to new pedagogy that is needed to “fundamentally reconceptualize and restructure the teaching and learning transaction” (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008, p. 5). It is helpful to have both a theoretical and practical template to follow when trying to implement blended learning practices.

      Rob, I’m not sure if the online instructor changes to “the guide on the side”? Anderson, Rourke, Garrison & Archer (2001) comment that the teacher is involved in direct instruction “by interjecting comments, referring students to information resources, and organizing activities that allow the students to construct the content in their own minds and personal contexts” (p.8). I do agree that there is a responsibility shift as learners can be “performing a substantial part of the teaching presence role” (Anderson et al., 2001, p. 13). I saw this in my last eLearning course through the peer review process on major projects and appreciated both my instructor and my peer’s constructive insights.

      Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing environment. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks , 5 (2).

      Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. (2008). Chapter One: Introduction. Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass. Available at: http://www2.mtroyal.ab.ca/~nvaughan/chpt1intro.pdf

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    2. #1058
      Avatar of Vernon io
      Vernon io
      Participant

      Why is the COI an important part of blended learning?

      The COI model is important as it gives us a structure / framework to consider prior to an online activity. Assisting us by providing areas for reflection for “thinking ahead”. These areas further allow us the ability to look deeper within and evaluate the effectiveness of our activities.

      How would I implement these elements in your practice and design of learning materials?

      Personally I would start with consideration of the learning objectives of the lesson and/or course and then design with them in mind. An example of application within my work is a lesson within the area of the endocrine system of a pathophysiology course. The lesson may have components of a mini multimedia lecture (cognitive) and a brief multimedia case study (cognitive) with a facilitated (teacher) forum discussion (social and cognitive) regarding the case. I think designing is key for application.

      Briefly talk about an online / distance / blended learning courses that you have taken that fully incorporates these elements or if yourself have developed and taught courses using a COI framework. What did learn about the experience and what would you do differently?

      I have taken many online courses in the past and some have fully incorporated the social, cognitive, and teaching presences within and others have used components of.
      I would have to say as a whole, the courses taken at a graduate level have been the most successful with using the COI framework. Considering the various components that they have used: forums, skype, Elluminate live, break out groups, group projects, direct instruction, facilitation / guiding, questioning, critical inquiry…… the list goes on and on. Definitely the areas of social presence, teacher presence, and cognitive presence have been achieved and it has been a very positive experience and engaging.
      On the other hand, I have been in other courses that are very solitary in nature. Where completion of tasks was the main focus with only the goal of a certification. I would consider them less engaging and isolated. Instructor involvement was via email with a turn around response rate of 2 days. Frustrating if you had questions. What could be done regarding such courses? Redesigning them to be more interactive, less task focused, not solitary but rather with a group of learners.

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    3. #1059
      Avatar of Norm Vaughan
      Norm Vaughan
      Key Master

      Hi Mike,

      Wow, this Genius hour sounds like a wonderful way to have students involved in their own inquiry-based learning projects !!

      I often find that students are initially challenged to identify the key questions for their inquiry.

      I’m curious about how others begin the inquiry process in their educational workplace?

      Take care, Norm

      P.S. Here is a short article from David Jardine on this topic :)

      Jardine, D. W. (2010). On the nature of inquiry: Choosing a topic. Galileo Educational Network. Available online at: http://galileo.org/teachers/designing-learning/articles/choosing-a-topic/

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    4. #1060
      Avatar of Lida La
      Lida La
      Participant

      Mike and Norm,

      Jardine (2010) provides a great analogy for moving beyond engaging learners in developmentally appropriate learning activities, and instead viewing topics of inquiry as real opportunities for exploration. In that vein, I came across a useful site that provides great tips to teachers facilitating the progression of students through the four steps of the inquiry process: “posing real questions, finding relevant resources, interpreting information, and reporting findings.”

      http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/planning/lesson-planning/how-inquiry/how-inquiry

      Reference:
      How to: Inquiry. (2012, January 1). Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/planning/lesson-planning/how-inquiry/how-inquiry

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      • #1072
        Avatar of Laurel Beaton
        Laurel Beaton
        Participant

        Hi Mike, Norm and Lida,

        I think we should have a separate thread devoted to Jardine! That would be something work whiling over! My own experience with examining curriculum theory has lead me back to some of the basics of teaching and learning. By that I don’t mean drill and kill but instead, what was at the heart of teaching and learning in the past? I think the communities of inquiry model helps teachers today to get back to what they know is at the heart of good teaching, to inquire together about the world. Jardine calls on teachers to be, “precisely what we hope our students will be: curious, knowledgeable, adventurous, well read, questioning, creative and daring in (our) intellectual ventures.” I think through the communities of inquiry model we as teachers whether online, face-to-face or blended get back to this by attending to social, cognitive and teaching presence.

        Jardine, D. W. (2008). Preface. In P. Clifford, S. Friesen, D. W. Jardine (Eds.), Back to the Basics of Teaching and Learning: Thinking the World Together (pp. 223-242). New York: Routledge.

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    5. #1061
      Avatar of Robert Buck
      Robert Buck
      Participant

      Good Afternoon Everyone

      I hope that the weather is pleasant where you happen to be. I would first like to thank everyone so far that has participated in this discussion forum. A lot important insight and discussion has been created as well some links to other research and activities that people are currently involved in. As with many things in education, we all have different interpretations of what COI means to them and how they integrate those ideas within their blended learning environments. As well as discussion by Vernon where he talked about the frustrations of instructors not returning emails. From my personal experience, as an instructor who has switched from a classroom environment to an online environment, I try to answer the emails within at least 24 hours. However, in times when not available to answer an email in a timely manner, I have setup a discussion forum where learners can post their questions to the larger audience with the hope that they will get their answer somehow whether it is from another participant or myself. 9 times out of ten, the learners usually get the answer before I get a chance to response. This is concept of being the guide on side which as well as generated some discussion as well. Hopefully educators that teach in an online environment are not completely absent from the learning experience. Their presence still has to be evident through good design, interaction and direct instruction. Therefore I do not believe that even if courses do go online that the evidence of teaching presence must be there or learning will not happen.

      Thanks again the discussion and have a good rest of the weekend

      Rob

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