The Applicability of Community of Inquiry Framework (Journal Club)

Journal Club Article: Smadi, O., Parker, S., Gillham, D., & Müller, A. (2019). The applicability of community of inquiry framework to online nursing education: A cross-sectional studyNurse education in practice34, 17-24.

Background

The lack of rigorous evidence based research to guide e-learning in higher education, which is especially relevant with the rapid adoption of e-learning, which is often part of a blended learning approach (Garrison, 2011).

“While discussion forums and video conferencing are very common in online courses, LMS also include a range of more interactive features and advanced functions such as customized learning pathways, collaborative content, peer interaction and assessment workshops, file sharing, real-time messaging, and wiki forums. However, according to Christie and Jurado (2009), these interactive features are not widely used by the course designers. Shea and Bidjerano (2009b) report that designers of online courses and educational providers are often confused about how to integrate new technologies into online learning environments in ways that will enrich student learning.”

The Community of Inquiry Framework

“The Community of Inquiry framework originated in the work of Dewey (1938), Peirce (1955), and Lipman (2003). Garrison et al. (2000) broadened and adapted the Community of Inquiry framework for e-learning education by viewing it through the lens of social, cognitive, and teaching presences.”

Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison et al., 2000):

  1. Social Presence
  2. Cognitive Presence
  3. Teaching Presence

Study Aim

The projects aims were to explore the following questions:

1. What is the awareness and knowledge of Australian nursing educators about the CoI framework?
2. What is the participants’ attitudes on the applicability of the CoI framework to online nurse education courses?

Study Design

An online survey tool which was divided into three sections:

  1. Demographic information,
  2. The applicability of community of inquiry presences,
  3. Awareness and knowledge of  Community of Inquiry.

Participants: Nurse educators from 34 higher education universities providing nurse education to international students.

Limitations: The survey tool was an adaptation of a validated tool. The limited response from using an online survey approach.

Results

From 138 respondents from a possible 1201 (response rate 11.5%):

    • The current used mode of teaching is blended learning (BL) (83%).
    • Nurse educators ranked BL as the best suited teaching mode for nursing education (90%).
    • Ninety percent (90%) of the participants are involved in curriculum design.
    • (90%) of the participants viewed instructional design and framework as significant to build an online course.
    • However, (70%) declared they don’t use explicit theoretical framework to guide the design/evaluation of online education.
    • Participants highly ranked the three core concepts of CoI framework as applicable for online nursing education.
  • (20%) of the participants are familiar with CoI framework, of them (79%) are likely to recommend CoI framework to a colleague.

Summary

“This study has shown the perceived importance of instructional design and theoretical framework to build an online courses for nurse educators using blended learning. Since Community of Inquiry framework has been shown to improve student satisfaction and decrease attrition in non-health disciplines, the implementation of Community of Inquiry framework in nurse education should be investigated more. Community of Inquiry provides a comprehensive framework relevant to face-to-face, blended, and online education with the potential to embed numerous technology-linked interventions within a Community of Inquiry framework.

These results provide the impetus for further investigation of factors influencing the development of online nurse education including the specific consideration of CoI frameworks.”

Keywords: Community of inquiry; Online education; Theoretical framework; Blended learning; E-learning

Reference

Smadi, O., Parker, S., Gillham, D., & Müller, A. (2019). The applicability of community of inquiry framework to online nursing education: A cross-sectional studyNurse education in practice34, 17-24.

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