Unit 1 Study Guide

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Educational experience as a collaborative communication

Social context affects the nature of learning activities and outcomes (Resnick, 1991). Limpman (1991) notes the importance of community in

higher-order thinking. He describes a community of inquiry as context for educational experience if critical thinking is made easy.

Garrison and Archer(2001) view an educational experience as a collaborative communication process for building meaningful knowledge. They

said that collaboration is regarded as an essential aspect of cognitive development since cognition cannot be separated from social

context. The cognitive element is closely connected to the social element. Vygotsky (1978) said social interaction plays a fundamental

role in the development of cognition. He (1978) states "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the

social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people and then inside the child. This applies equally to voluntary

attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between

individuals." (p57).

Community of inquiry model

As the communication in a computer conference is different from a face to face situation and use text based message, teaching presence is

needed for supporting critical thinking. Anderson & Garrison (1995) said that instructional design and the effective use of technology is

of the greatest importance in achieving quality of learning results. The community of inquiry framework includes the three essential

elements - teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence.

Teaching presence is defined as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing

personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001) identify knowledge

hidden in the data from the actual interactions between and among students and on-line teachers as they develop and facilitate learning

activities. They examined messages for their contribution to three critical functions of the online teacher - designing learning

activities, establishing an active learning community, and providing direct instruction. These tools (analysis of the transcripts) help

teachers to assess their own postings and value feedback. Also, it can be used for research to diagnose problems in on-line teaching.

Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer (2001) state social presence is the ability of learners to project their personal characteristics

into the community of inquiry, thereby presenting themselves as 'real people.' They found instructional media such as computer

conferencing enrich high levels of student-student and student-teacher interaction. They can support models of teaching and learning that

are highly interactive with the ideal of learning community.Cognitive presence is the extent to which the participants in any particular

configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication. Garrison, Anderson, and Archer

(2001) mention a core concept in defining a community of inquiry is cognitive presence. The practical inquiry model use cognitive presence

for the purpose of developing a tool to assess critical discourse and reflection.

Unit One: Understanding the Learning Community and Online Discourse


Essential Guide to Online Teaching