Developing a Community of Learners in an Asynchronous Discussion Forum by Leveraging the Three CoI Presences
This session reports on research conducted in an asynchronous graduate level course in which students were asked to facilitate weekly discussion forums using a wrap-around model of support developed by their instructor. This model provided additional opportunities to develop the three CoI presences, leading to a strong community of learners.
This paper reports on research conducted in an asynchronous graduate-level education course in which students were asked to facilitate weekly discussion forums using a wrap-around model of support designed to enhance their ability to run productive discussion forums. This model consisted of two dimensions; first, during the first two weeks of the quarter, the course instructor designed, moderated, and graded the discussion forums, modeling best practices in facilitating discussion board activities; and, second, as students facilitated subsequent weekly discussion forums, the course instructor worked closely with student discussion forum moderators to ensure productive learning occurred during the discussion forum activities. Results from this study indicate that all of the CoI presences (Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007) were enhanced through student facilitation of discussion forums, as long as wrap-around support by the instructor occurred. Additionally, as the CoI presences were enhanced, students reported feeling a deepening of membership to the community of learners (Rogoff, 1994; Rogoff, Matusov, & White, 1996) being developed in this class.