ELI Course: Teaching in Blended Learning Environments

Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry

Course Overview

The Community of Inquiry (CoI) has been used as a conceptual framework to assist practitioners to navigate through the educational and technological levels of complexity of blended learning (Garrison, 2016). The three main elements of the CoI framework are social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. Each of these elements and their overlap must be considered in the design and implementation of collaborative learning outcomes and assessment activities in a blended course. Social presence is defined as the ability of participants to identify with the interests of the community (e.g., academic focus of the course), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of participants projecting their individual personalities (Garrison, 2011). The CoI framework is about deep and meaningful learning experiences operationalized through cognitive presence. Cognitive presence is defined in terms of the practical inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). Practical inquiry represents phases (problem, exploration, integration, and resolution) of a collaborative-constructive educational experience. The final element, teaching presence, provides the leadership that focuses and sustains a productive collaborative community. Teaching presence is responsible for the design, facilitation, and direction of a successful blended learning course experience.

The purpose of this ELI course is to provide participants with a "hands-on" opportunity to learn how to apply the CoI framework and related principles to the design, facilitation, and direction of a blended course experience.

Learning Objectives

During this ELI course, participants will:

  • Design and organize a blended course or module using the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework
  • Co-construct facilitation and moderation guidelines for a course or module
  • Develop direction and leadership strategies for a course or module
  • Create student assessment activities and an evaluation plan for a course or module

NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated above and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course instructors on how to improve and shape their work.

Course Instructors

Norm Vaughan

Norm Vaughan, Professor, Mount Royal University

Dr. Vaughan is an educator and researcher with interests in blended learning, faculty development and K to 12 schooling. His teaching background includes graduate and undergraduate courses in educational technology, K-12 education in northern Canada, technical training in the petroleum industry, and English as a Second Language in Japan. In addition, he has been involved in several consulting projects with book publishers and higher education institutions to develop online courses and resources. He has co-authored the books Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry (2013) and Blended Learning in Higher Education (2008) and he has published a series of articles on blended learning and faculty development.

Randy Garrison

Randy Garrison, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary

Dr. Garrison has published extensively on teaching and learning in adult, higher and distance education contexts. He has authored, co-authored or edited eleven books and over 100 refereed articles/chapters. His recent books are: Thinking Collaboratively: Learning in a Community of Inquiry; London: Routledge/Taylor and Francis (2016); Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry (2013); Educational Communities of Inquiry: Theoretical Framework, Research and Practice (2013); E-Learning in the 21st century (2nd Ed.) (2011); An Introduction to Distance Education: Understanding Teaching and Learning in a New Era (2010); and Blended Learning in Higher Education (2008).


Registration Closed

Event Dates/Times

Part 1: May 11, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Part 2: May 18, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Part 3: May 25, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

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