Contributed by Hope Miller, Douglas College
On February 23, Maureen Mackey and Sandra Polushin facilitated a fascinating T.e.l.l. session titled “Blended by Design: How Inquiry-based Design is Engaging Faculty and Students.” Central to the presentation was the Community of Inquiry (CoI) work being done at Douglas College. Their agenda consisted of the following:
- Social Presence: Using introductions to engage participants from the start
- Cognitive Presence: Using the CoI framework
- Teaching Presence: Using the framework in the context of your own teaching and learning
- Climate for change: Developing processes for engaging with inquiry-based design
The session began with an activity asking participants to describe why they decided to attend (reflecting for 1 minute, jotting down notes, then reporting back to the group). Next, two different definitions of the CoI Framework were discussed, sharing thoughts in private chats with a partner, then returning to the main group for debriefing. This same model was used several times throughout the hour in Collaborate, emphasizing the three key tenets of CoI—Social presence, Teaching presence, and Cognitive presence. Where these three intersect is where true educational experience occurs.
Participants were asked to describe some examples of the three presences already in use in their own teaching and in the current Tell session. A lively discussion ensued.
Next, the presenters shared some of the collaborative tools in use at Douglas College: a college-wide course design template based on the CoI model and UDL framework; consistent design for course evaluations and probationary evaluations for online teaching; and exploration of learning technologies to promote access, strategic, and motivational learning. They also summarized briefly Dr. Norman Vaughan’s visit from Mount Royal University in Calgary, in which he facilitated three workshops on next steps for blended learning at the College.
The session wrapped up with Sandra and Maureen asking participants to apply one concept/idea from CoI into their work that week