Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry
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.
Mount Royal University