Our discussion questions :)

This topic contains 26 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Melissa Sunquist Melissa Sunquist 4 years, 10 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. #1062
      Avatar of Leslie Barker
      Leslie Barker
      Participant

      Hi Rob and all – my thoughts to the questions posed:
      1. The COI framework helps us truly understand that blended learning is not just about moving components of an existing training online, but rather, completely rethinking the design, structure and implementation of programs that incorporate both face to face and online/asynchronous components, in a way that respects and reflects best practices in education and learning.
      2. I’m excited to discover this model, and it is particularly timely for me as we are testing the training model for a global parenting education program in addition to conducting this same training within my workplace with staff across the province. These two environments present similar challenges albeit on different scales. They have in common increasing scrutiny of the time and financial costs of training, and the need to be able to reach all participants in many locations. There is increasing administrative pressure to have all training ‘online’ but not always with thought to the design, best practices in adult education, nor the consequences of what is lost in eliminating face-to-face interaction for staff who will be working together. I believe ‘blended learning’ may be what we have been looking for.
      The programs I’m involved with have been heavily influenced by literature on experiential learning. In particular, Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle, has been an extremely helpful approach for working with parents – effectively ‘drawing from’ their reflections on their experiences with their children versus ‘telling to’ or didactically lecturing them on what to. I see allusions to this in the practical inquiry model of the COI’s Cognitive Presence (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2001). In our programs, we strive to set a safe learning environment for all participants, whether they be facilitators, parents or children as we know this is a fundamental requirement for how people (adults and children) learn (Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 2005; National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2004). I see these elements reflected in the Social Presence component. Finally, the Teaching Presence is, as others have mentioned, the glue that holds the process together. However, I really appreciate the emphasis on “teaching presence and not teacher presence” (Vaughn, Cleveland-Innis & Garrison, p 14) as again this resonates with the approaches my practice takes in helping parents and facilitators learn from each other through experiential activities, small group work, and discussions.

      3. I can’t say that I have experienced a true blended learning experience to this point. I certainly have had synchronous/asynchronous sessions in the MEd program. but as I’m just completing the old GDER program, I haven’t had the same experience as many of the current cohort. I have tried to plan my courses to take a mix of online and face to face; but I have not had the experience of having both those elements in one class. I’ve already started with a small experiment with blended learning at work. We are just finishing a staff training in Positive Discipline and our last session is next week following an extended break. Before disbanding for the holidays, we agreed to sending out some information to prepare them for the next topic (adolescent development and problem-solving). I sent out an email this week with a ‘welcome back’ message, a self-reflection activity, a link to a podcast of CBC: The Current’s recent interview with Dr. Frances Jensen on the Teen Brain with a couple of guiding questions that we’ll use to start the discussion about problem-solving with adolescence in the face to face session. This will replace the planned lecture on the topic. I’m excited to see how it was received and look forward to lots of questions and (hopefully) insights.

      References:
      Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1). 17-23.
      Knowles, M., Holton, E. & Swanson, R. (2005). The adult learner. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.
      Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Retrieved from http://academic.regis.edu/ed205/Kolb.pdf
      National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2004). Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships: Working Paper No. 1. Retrieved from http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu
      Vaughan, N.D., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Garrison, D.R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press. Retrieved from http://www.aupress.ca/index/php/books/120229

      Leslie

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      • #1074
        Avatar of Robert Buck
        Robert Buck
        Participant

        Good Morning Leslie

        Thank you for your reply. I am interested to see what your organization results will be when the COI model is implemented. You will have keep us posted throughout the term. Your comments about not being involved with a “true blended” model for course interests me. I have often thought whether I have being in blended learning environments before I entered the MA program at the University of Calgary. I believe that i have had a lot of these blended learning opportunities whether it is participating in a web series/webnair, reviewing past presentations, completing online surveys etc. and many of the things that we get involved with as professionals for our professional development can be still considered learning.

        Good insights and reflection on the topic

        Rob

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    2. #1066
      Avatar of William Shebansky
      William Shebansky
      Participant

      Hi Rob and all,

      A critical COI is as Garrison and Vaughan (2008) stated, “the hallmark of higher education” (p.1). Collaborative and reflective learning experiences are necessary for higher-order learning whether it be face to face or in a blended learning environment.

      Personally, I have not taken a blended learning course, but the online EDER courses, including this one, certainly incorporate elements of social, cognitive, and teaching presence. As we are posting our thoughts on blended learning and the COI framework (critical discourse), we are reflecting and constructing meaning through this sustained communication. By sharing our personal experiences with blended learning on this thread, we are creating a social presence. And through Dr. Vaughan’s “design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes” (Anderson, Rourke & Archer, 2001, p.5), we do have teaching presence.

      Garrison and Vaughan (2008) noted that, “a major challenge facing educators using CMC is the creation of a critical community of inquiry—the hallmark of higher education—within a virtual text-based environment” (p. 1). However, this course is evidence that a critical community of inquiry can exist in a virtual text-based environment, one which incorporates social, cognitive, and teaching presence. For me, such courses are positive, engaging, interactive, and thought-provoking.

      William

      Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching presence in a Computer Conference Environment. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 5(2), 1-17.

      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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      • #1067
        Avatar of Leslie Barker
        Leslie Barker
        Participant

        Hi William:
        The COI model indicates the teaching presence is meant to include the processes of both the identified ‘teacher’ (or teacher of record) as well as the learners. Do you have any examples of how the learners in your previous experiences have provided design, facilitation, the direction of cognitive and/or social processes, or direct instruction?
        Leslie

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        • #1073
          Avatar of William Shebansky
          William Shebansky
          Participant

          Hi Leslie,
          Sorry for the late response. Yes, I agree that teaching presence is meant to include the learners as well. Community includes all members and their interactions but I feel that the teacher’s role is critical. Anderson, Rourke & Archer (2001) explain, “it is only through active intervention of a teacher that a powerful communications tool such as collaborative computer conferencing [11], or cooperative learning [12] becomes a useful instructional and learning resource” (p. 5).

          Some examples of learner presence in my previous experiences include peer feedback on projects, such as we are doing with our current article reviews, commenting on classmate blog postings, group projects, presentations, etc. Collaboration and reflection certainly is key to learning, whether with a teacher or with other learners.

          William

          Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching presence in a Computer Conference Environment. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 5(2), 1-17.

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    3. #1068
      Avatar of Osaed Khan
      Osaed Khan
      Participant

      Hi Everyone,

      I agree as Lilian stated regarding initial understanding of blended learning, the job of blended learning is done once online content is setup by the educator. This is where COI framework comes into play. I think of COI framework as holding blended learning environments accountable for their success. COI framework seems to put more details in a saturated understanding of blended learning. It seems to give more concrete guidelines on how to reflect on accomplishing learning outcomes by educators and students.

      As an educator, I am slowly evolving from a teacher that used a Smartboard, to posting content online, to now slowly creating online community for learning. Social presence seems to come to life as a high school teacher, some of the face-to-face conversation can sometimes be limited in the classroom. With a blended model the social interaction can be done online and observed and hopefully take place without any force or mark-incentive. This would be ideal.

      The cognitive presence can be done in many formats in person or online, alongside the social presence. I could see students reflect and discuss their own improvement and understanding the content and how they are evolving throughout the academic year in many formats. This could be done as a portfolio, journal, blogs, etc.

      The teacher presence is a vital one, but as I read the threads above, something resonated with me regarding ownership of learning. As students begin to take ownership of learning, they will embrace any sort of format (face-to-face or online or blended) with great interest. They will not need a full teacher in their presence, but merely their to guide and perhaps occasionally push each student to their full potential. The genius hour is a good example. Students in this format would just need bit of direction, the rest could be just guide or resource to have a teacher present online or in-class.

      As a Math and Science teacher, I always struggle to tackle the tangible ways to identify success in such subject content as Blended learning. It always seems to be very superficial. After reading “Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing”, I seem to be getting more comfortable with the understanding that computer conferencing researchers have overcome some of these problems. The analytic technology can really aid educators into feeling some of the success of the three areas of COI can be attainable with proof that sit comfortably with new blended educators.

      The past E-learning course I took, via online did remind me of some aspects of the COI framework. Of course I have never really taken an full blended course. But the cognitive aspect was felt online a lot. As well the social presence of peers interaction was the most I have seen in any sort of practice. The amount of trust in the students to assess and communicate to their peers to elevate their success in the course was amazing. I fear I may not have the same expectations at a high school setting, but perhaps with the correct training, maturity, and timing, it would work with a blended framework with students high school setting.

      I hope by the end of this course, I will have a better understanding of how to implement positive change towards creating a blended experience for my students that will be a tool rather than a burden towards their goals.

      It was a great discussion continuing regarding the presence of the teacher in a blended and COI framework. Keep it up :)

      References:

      Rourke, L., Anderson, T. Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 51-70.

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      • #1075
        Avatar of Robert Buck
        Robert Buck
        Participant

        Osaed

        Thank you for your response to the questions. In one of other classes we saw a brief presentation of a program out of the USA called Quest Atlantis which is uses 3D modelling to engaged students in a variety of educational tasks. The program was created by Sasha Barab who I believe is a professor out of ASU. His website is http://sashabarab.com/rsrch_qa.html as well here is a link to a YouTube Video which explains the project as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad6gLQN0tBY

        Hope this helps

        Rob

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    4. #1069
      Avatar of Shauna Elliott
      Shauna Elliott
      Participant

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

      The COI is designated as an essential component of blended learning because it is directly concerned with the formation of knowledge which is achieved through effective delivery of the three elements included in the framework; social, cognitive and teaching presence. In my opinion, the COI framework should be easier to achieve in a blended learning course as opposed to strictly face-to-face or online because instructors have more opportunities to incorporate the three elements.

      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?

      Social: Initially when I would hear the term “social presence” I would immediately think of people socializing in a face-to-face setting. However, after completing numerous online courses I view the term differently. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison & Archer (1999) define social presence “as the ability of learners to project themselves socially and affectively into a community of inquiry” (pg. 51). Therefore by actively participating in discussions and Adobe Connect sessions, students are fulfilling the social element of the COI framework in an online course and/or online component of the blended course. When designing learning materials I would be sure to provide endless opportunities for students to voice their knowledge and opinions and in turn, react and respond to their peer’s views as well.

      Cognitive: I believe that an excellent way to construct meaning and internalize knowledge is through reflection. Reflecting on materials, lessons, questions, etc. is important for both educators and students and it would be a practice that I would encourage my students to do as well as myself.

      Teaching: Anderson, Rourke, Garrison & Archer (2001) define “teaching presence as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (pg. 5). I believe those three words are key when achieving teaching presence; design, facilitate and direction. As the instructor, I would include materials which promote both social and cognitive processes in my students. Once confident with the chosen materials, I would take on the role of a facilitator for my students and guide their learning with questions to provoke their critical thinking as well as constructive feedback.

      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?

      Personally I have never developed and taught a course using the COI framework but I have been an online student numerous times. I have completed online courses both in my Undergraduate and Graduate programs. I can certainly say that the majority of Grad courses have incorporated the three elements of the COI framework very well. In my experiences, instructors provided students with pertinent readings and tasks which allowed them opportunities to voice their opinions openly and freely, use critical thinking skills to respond to questions, provide constructive feedback to peers and instructors, and practice reflection.

      -Shauna

      References:

      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., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Vaughan, N.D., (2013). Community of Inquiry Web Site. Available online from http://coi.athabascau.ca/

      Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Archer, W. & Garrison, D. R., (1999). Assessing social presence in
      asynchronous, text-based computer conferences, Journal of Distance Education, 14 (3), 51-70.

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    5. #1071
      Avatar of Laurel Beaton
      Laurel Beaton
      Participant

      The community of inquiry model is essential to blended learning because the combination of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence works to create a learning community which is grounded, cohesive and cognitively challenging leading to deep, rich, and lasting understandings. The communities of inquiry, as defined by Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) provides a model in which interaction and reflection are sustained and lead to deep learning (as cited in Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2014, p. 134). Students working both online and face-to-face employ different approaches to learning dependent on the design, structure and expectation of that course. According to Garrison and Cleveland-Innes (2014), in deep learning, students explore content in order to create meaning and understanding. In the pursuit of teaching for understanding, deep learning has become the goal of both higher as well as K-12 education.

      Social presence is a key element of the communities of inquiry model because knowledge is created by making connections through personal learning networks. These networks could be as personal and as individual as the students themselves; fluid and changing over time and within the given context of learning. Social presence in the community of inquiry model is one that acknowledges that learning is a social act and that in the digital era it can no longer be seen as an isolated activity. This connected approach to teaching and learning requires a shift to a personalization that will have far reaching implications for teacher training and ongoing professional learning. In a connectivist approach to learning, the teacher shifts from the content knowledge expert who gives information to students to the learning expert or lead learner in a classroom.

      The communities of inquiry model focuses on cognitive presence that goes beyond simple interactions. This model understands that in order for students to gain deep and rich understandings they must engage in critical discourse. Cognitive presence in blended learning would come from not only the number of interactions either face-to-face or online but instead from the rich discourse between students, teacher, and the content through reading, writing, responding and reflecting.

      Research has found a strong correlation between how students approached learning and the way in which the course was designed and delivered. The results show that “teaching presence contributed to the adoption of a deep approach to learning and that interaction by itself does not promote a deep approach to learning” (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2014, p. 140). Teacher presence through facilitated critical discourse is essential for meaningful learning that lead to deep understanding.

      My distance education organization is currently looking at ways to better infuse the communities of inquiry model into our teaching. As a staff we are engaging in professional learning aimed to model the communities of inquiry approach. In this professional learning, we are examining social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence. As our own learning community, we model reading, reflection, discussion and opportunities for face-to-face collaboration. The hope is that through experiencing the power and potential of the communities of inquiry model for ourselves, teachers will better understand the value of engaging in these practices with their students. We hope that this “learning together” will lead to shifts in course design and delivery.

      Garrison, D.R., Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction is Not Enough. The American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148

      Vaughan, N.D., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Garrison, D.R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press. Available online at: http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229

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