Taking Your Courses from Snores to Scores: Digital Ways to Create Meaningful Learning Experience in Online and Blended Courses

Community College

Watch This Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

This session will introduce a theoretical framework to guide creating meaningful learning experience in online and blended courses along with strategies and digital tools. It will discuss specific ways to create meaningful learning experience guided by the framework. All attendees will take away practical ideas and free resource for application.

Presenters

Hong Wang is an educator and advocate for innovative pedagogy and technology integration in teaching to create engaging learning experience for students, with a focus on blended and online learning. She has worked in higher education for 20 years with extensive experience in course design, technology integration in teaching, and professional development for faculty in blended and online learning. Hong holds a doctorate in educational technology and serves as Associate Director of Instructional Technology Training at NOVA Online for Northern Virginia Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the United States. She has been managing the college's training program on blended learning and workshops related to online teaching. She enjoys collaborating with faculty and colleagues to build a community of effective practices in blended and online courses to support student success. She is also a certified Quality Matters Online Facilitator and Peer Course Reviewer. Hong has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences on educational technology and online learning.

Extended Abstract

With the advancement of information and communication technology, there are more ways to teach and learn in the 21st century. With online environment involved in the teaching and learning process in online and blended courses, it is more challenging to create meaningful learning experience for students. While technology has provided opportunities for innovation in teaching and learning, how to integrate technology into teaching to create meaningful learning experience for students in online and blended courses still remains a question to many of us.    

The community of inquiry has been widely used in the design and study of online environments (Halverson, Graham, Spring, Drysdale, & Henrie, 2014; Garrison, 2017). Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) first introduced this framework through their own work on computer-based conferencing, and it is the “most widely referenced framework associated with the study of online and blended learning” (Garrison, 2016, p. 68). The framework suggests that deep and meaningful learning results when there is evidence of sufficient levels of the various component presences composed of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence.

According to Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001), social presence is defined as the extent to which a learner’s true self is projected and perceived in an online course. It is composed of three subfactors: affective expressions, open communication, and group cohesion. Teaching presence is defined as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes to realize personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. It is composed of three subfactors: design and organization, facilitation of discourse, and direct instruction. Cognitive presence is defined as the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through collaboration and reflection in a learning community. It consists of four subfactors: triggering event, exploration, integration, and resolution.

Guided by the community of inquiry framework, this discovery session will share nine simple ways to integrate digital technology into online and blended courses to create meaningful learning experience. While some digital ways are used to enhance social presence and teaching presence, some are used to enhance cognitive presence. By enhancing the three presences in online and blended courses, students will be able to gain meaningful learning experience through more engaged learning.

 

Level of Participation: 

This session is structured like a community forum with the presentation being made interactively with each individual or each group of audience in a format of a discussion forum. The presenter, based on extensive experience in design and facilitation of online and blended courses, will first spend about 9-11 minutes introducing the community of inquiry framework and sharing digital ways to create meaningful learning experience by enhancing social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence in online and blended courses. Then the audience will have about 4-6 minutes to ask questions and engage in the discussion. The 15-minute discussion forum will be repeated again for another new group of audience or the current discussion will continue to satisfy the audience’s interest by discussing more questions and relevant resources if no new participants have come in yet. All attendees will be active participants, asking questions and engaging in the discussion forum to discover something new and bring back to enhance their own online and blended courses in the workplace. 

Session Goals:

After this discovery session, participants will be able to explain a community of inquiry framework and why it is important to meaningful learning experience in online and blended courses. They will be able to describe some digital ways to create meaningful learning experience by enhancing social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence. Finally, they will be able to locate some free digital tools to enhance the three presences when creating meaningful learning experience for their students in online and blended learners.  All attendees will take away with a handout that is composed of a theoretical framework to guide effective practice, practical ideas to create meaningful learning experience in online and blended courses, and a resource of free digital tools that can be used to implement the ideas.   

References:
 

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1-17.

Garrison, D. R. (2016). Thinking collaboratively. New York, NY: Routledge.

Garrison, D. R. (2017). E-learning in the 21st century: A Community of Inquiry framework for research and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education2(2), 87-105.

Halverson, L. R., Graham, C. R., Spring, K.J., Drysdale, J. S., & Henrie, C. R. (2014). A thematic analysis of the most highly cited scholarship in the first decade of blended learning research. The Internet and Higher Education20 (1), 20-34.