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.

Blended Synchronous Learning

Journal Club Article: Bower, M., Kenney, J., Dalgarno, B., Lee, M. J., Kennedy, G. E., Carter, H., … & Hedberg, J. (2013). Blended synchronous learning: Patterns and principles for simultaneously engaging co-located and distributed learners. Electric Dreams. Proceedings ascilite.

Background

The traditional view of learning is of the on-campus University experience is changing, with students wholly or partially participating away from their institution (Gosper et al, 2008). Factors such as lifestyle demands of work, financial and social commitments mean universities now need to find new ways of engaging students irrespective of their geographic location.

The Answer?

“Blended synchronous learning approaches use media-rich synchronous technologies to enable remote and face-to-face students to co-participate in live classes”. The challenge is to provide collaborative learning activities in blended learning to ensure a social constructivist pedagogy is delivered.

Synchronous or Asynchronous?

Distance students have primarily been supported through asynchronous resources such as recorded lectures, electronic documents, discussion forums and course content delivery through a learning management system. But this does not provide vital real-time conversations, so a synchronous and multi-modal approach needs to be delivered.

Technologies

Media-rich synchronous technologies such as:

  • Video conferencing (Skype, Google Hangout).
  • Web conferencing (Adobe Connect, Blackboard Collaborate).
  • Virtual worlds (Second Life, Minecraft).

Learning: Student Tasks

  • Collaboration evaluation.
  • Group questioning.
  • Class discussion.
  • Problem solving.
  • Role play.
  • Collaborative design.

Teacher Needs

  • Extensive preparation.
  • Clear instructions.
  • Flexibility.
  • Student preparation.
  • Support staff.

Pro’s of Blended Learning

  • Equity of access.
  • Flexible course.
  • Technology aids work ready skills.
  • Continues a collaborative approach to learning.

Con’s

  • Preparation for student and teacher to be prepared, don’t assume everyone is tech savvy.
  • Minimal software requirement, which may add to costs.
  • Broadband can effect user experience in the online learning world, may disrupt teaching sessions.
  • Capturing real time and ensuring quality online delivery.
  • Difficult to manage remote and face-to-face demands on the teacher (may need a support person to manage the online world).

Summary

Blended learning can provide a synchronous learning experience that allows the community of practice to continue. Resources are needed for the technology, training and supports required to deliver a quality education program. The question of relevance in the vocational setting such as healthcare needs to be researched to question if blended learning can really replace hands on training and if nurses are actually ready for this approach.

References

Bower, M., Kenney, J., Dalgarno, B., Lee, M. J., Kennedy, G. E., Carter, H., … & Hedberg, J. (2013). Blended synchronous learning: Patterns and principles for simultaneously engaging co-located and distributed learners. Electric Dreams. Proceedings ascilite.

Nursing Education Network (2016) Blended Learning

Blended Synchronous Learning (2017) www.blendsync.org