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Transforming a curriculum through creation of a virtual “Community of Inquiry” to optimise learning

Date:  Saturday 28 August 
Time:  1330-1630

  • Jennifer Benjamin
  • Lindsay Cameron
  • Audrea Burns
  • Satid Thammasitboon


Summary of Theme and Why it is important: In response to challenges posed by reduced in person education, numerous ‘classrooms’ have been converted to virtual platforms. It is widely recognized that the lack of social connection and technological burdens within a virtual experience may compromise learning when compared with traditional classrooms. Published studies support that virtual teaching can be as, or more, effective than traditional classrooms if they are guided by educational best practices. This workshop will introduce:1) the ‘Community of Inquiry (CoI)’ as the leading framework that guides research and practice of virtual teaching, and 2) the ‘Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) as an evidenced-based instructional method.  Through the synergistic integration of these two concepts, participants will be equipped with skills to not only ‘replace’ the classroom, but also ‘amplify’ or ‘transform’ their respective curricula to an enhanced virtual learning experience.

What participants will gain:
1) Discuss the three inter-related elements of a ‘Community of Inquiry’ (CoI) framework for virtual learning
2) Analyze the essential features of cognitive, social and teaching presence within a virtual learning
3) Apply the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning to support the CoI

Who should participate: This workshop is specifically designed to model the POGIL, step by step, for enhanced learning. Through a facilitated discussion, a case study and various small group activities, participants will learn the three inter-related elements of CoI: Cognitive, Social and Teaching Presence. More specifically, participants will work collaboratively through the guided inquiry questions to explore the essential features of CoI. Using an exemplary development of a CoI for a faculty development series as a case study, participants will formulate the key CoI concepts. Participants will then apply the concepts to develop a plan for transforming their own curricula to enhanced virtual experience, and share with others for reflective critique. 

Participants will leave the workshop with practical tips and tools to develop a CoI and integrate POGIL at their home institutions. This will include recommendations on how to create: an optimal learning climate (social presence), supporting educational discourse (cognitive presence) and organizing and facilitating cognitive and social processes using POGIL (individual and group work) to create desirable learning outcomes (teaching presence).

Level: Intermediate

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