I further simplified the Actionable Community of Inquiry framework into Figure 3. Let’s give it an abbreviation – ACIF.
Based on Garrison et al (2000, 2004), Garrison and Arbaugh (2007) and Garrison (2007), the ACIF is articulated as follows:
The basic assumption of the CoI theory is that a meaningful educational experience happens only in a living community of inquiry. (This is not necessarily my belief but it is the assumption of the CoI theory.) So, in the ACIF, a living CoI is constituted by three dimensions: teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. Teaching presence means the presence of a higher power over the collective of learners that works to structure and guide (and somewhat patronise) the learning activities beyond the learners’ own vision. This dimension distinguishes an educational setting from a work setting, although the latter can involve learning as well. Social presence means members of the community are having some level of personal engagement and socialization with each other. This is an element that distinguishes a ‘community’ from a ‘place’ or simply a collective of people. Cognitive presence means members of the community are intellectually engaged with each other. This is the dimension that signifies ‘inquiry’ and distinguishes a CoI from a political interest group.
Teaching presence and cognitive presence formulate the content of the knowledge of the CoI. Yes – it’s not an aimless intellectual exercise. It has a purpose materialised in a specific body of knowledge that need to be intellectually challenging to the specific community of learners. Here the teacher is a leader of the community, and he or she must play the leadership to give the CoI a focus and direction. Cognitive presence and social presence jointly define a field of ‘discourse’ for the CoI. Discourse is socially constructed among the members of the CoI. A bit of research methodological implication: we can investigate the feature of a CoI by examining its dominant discourse and sub-discourses. Finally, social presence and teaching presence jointly define a climate for the CoI. In a working organisation, ‘organisational climate’ is employees’ perception of management practice. In a CoI, the structure is not strictly top-down as in a firm. Socialisation among members forms a culture in the community. However, the nature of leadership in the CoI makes a big difference to the culture. Let’s define this as the community climate. An educator, trying to formulate and run a CoI, should focus on fostering these elements:
- Be mindful what kind of leadership are you playing in this community. You can get feedback to reflect on your leadership by observing the climate in the CoI;
- Craft the content of the knowledge to be intellectually challenging and engaging for this CoI;
- Foster and monitor the discourse of this CoI as feedback to the content you selected and the level of intellectual engagement as a result
I will describe a personal experience of CoI in next post.
Garrison, D. R. (2007) Online community of inquiry review: social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61-72.
Garrison, D. R. and Arbaugh, J.B. (2007) Researching the community of inquiry framework: review, issues, and future directions, Internet and Higher Education, 10, 157-172.
Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Fung, T. (2004). Student role adjustment in online communities of inquiry: Model and instrument validation. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(2), 61−74.
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87−105.