Our discussion questions :)

This topic contains 26 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Melissa Sunquist Melissa Sunquist 2 years, 4 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. #1080
      Avatar of Melissa Sunquist
      Melissa Sunquist
      Participant

      Hi all,

      Here are my thoughts regarding Rob’s questions:)

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

      COI is an important part of blended learning for many reasons. First off, it is “an extremely valuable, if not essential, context for higher-order learning” (R. Garrison, T. Anderson, W Archer, 2004). It allows learners the opportunity to explore issues through discourse and discussion about relevant topics. It offers a way for learners to interact with each other, when synchronous learning may not be possible in the course. COI also helps the instructor explore topics in an alternative way. Rather than asking the learner to explore a topic on their own through a paper or assignment, learners can explore topic (sometimes complex) with the help of their peers. Learners may be presented with alternate or opposing views, which is extremely beneficial to their growth. Often, this type of discussion can alter perceptions and lead to a more robust understanding of the topic or learning outcome(s).

      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?

      I am having a bit of trouble with this question. In my current practice, there are many limitations that would not allow me to fully implement all the elements of the COI model. For example, in my current practice – curriculum development and implementation in a corporation – we do not have the resources in place to offer many models (if any) of blended learning. The COI framework only sits in a classroom setting and has not moved into a blended learning setting. Often, discussions that would allow all areas of the framework (social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence) require a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to facilitate the discussion. Many of these professionals are not trained in education principles, therefore, the discussion does not move from exploration to integration or even into a resolution. I feel as though the facilitator would need to be aware of this framework and the process to implement the steps. This is a gap in our organization that I find hard to find a resolution for. Thank you for posing this question, it really helped me reflect on this issue.

      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?

      I do not have a lot of experience with online courses since this is only my third course of online learning to obtain my Master’s Degree. I think back to the first course I took (Inquiry of Digital Content). It was the first experience I had with a COI facilitated online. I find a COI online quite difficult and I am still getting used to the format. I am much more comfortable participating in face-to-face discussions, possibly because it is what I am used to doing. However, I find that COI discussion very valuable, even when facilitated online. I really enjoy reading the experiences and insights from my peers. I feel as though this is where most of my learning takes place. When I look back on the courses I have taken, I remember elements from the COI discussions more than the assignments. To help learners who find online discussions difficult, it might be helpful to start these discussions with a smaller group of people, first and then move into a large group. Having the course facilitator engage heavily in the beginning and then gradually move away from the discussion might also be helpful in modeling and directing the social and cognitive presence.

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