Deja Vu?


It is hard work analyzing and defining the problems of design but it can cultivate some very important skills in the adult learner. The ability to ask the right questions, can often lead to the right answers. Thus, the ability to problem solve and think critically is an essential skill to build in adult learning.

As I spent time this week contemplating the marketing course and how students might become more engaged, I found myself referring time and again to the Community of Inquiry Model which was first introduced to us in ADLT 640. This model has everything to do with instructional design (ID), as one must consider how to design for the social, cognitive and teaching presence in order to have an effective, engaging learning environment. I revisited some of the other resource materials we were introduced to in ADLT 640, especially the COFA videos. Although, the videos focus primarily on the online experience, they might be equally beneficial to the blended learning experience. One video, focuses exclusively on engaging and motivating students. I also remembered there was a wonderful Prezi generated by Team Merlot featuring the Community of Inquiry Model. It is loaded with ideas relevant to instructional design.

Somehow I pictured the journey from ADLT 640, through ADLT 641 and ultimately to ADLT 642 to be more linear. I am discovering, however, that the journey may well be more circular in nature. Many of the concepts and theories we first encountered in ADLT 640 and then explored through the means of various digital mediums in ADLT 641 are now be applied to real design issues in ADLT 642. The challenges may be new but the concepts and theories which we may apply in addressing the challenges seem a bit more like “déjà vu”. I have the sense I’ve been here before and yet I find the trip no less invigorating. All that has been introduced before is coming back with increased meaning and relevance. As I reflect on the Community of Inquiry Model, a few key points seem important if learning is to be maximized:

1) The social presence of both the teacher and student must be carefully designed into the learning environment and every participant has the responsibility to contribute to the learning of others.
2) Learning goals inform the design of any course.
3) A cognitive presence will inevitably bring some discomfort for the adult learner.

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4 Responses to Deja Vu?

  1. MelKoch says:

    I agree, Wally! I’m also finding that the progression is very circular and I’m going back to the theories of 640 (and 601). I am also thinking back to 640 and how I could have made some of my projects better, knowing what I know now!
    I loved Merlot’s Prezi too! I picture it in my head whenever we talk about COI. They did such great job!
    (I sang this the whole time I read your post, BTW:

  2. Lindsey says:

    I love the way you explained the content to be circular vs, linear! As you said, it is invigorating to have a new understanding of the same material but on a deeper level-this demonstrates our learning gains, right?! Part of my individual project for 641 was applying the CoI model to Coursera which proved to be great practice of the model’s application.
    You mentioned the social presence being key, and I agree, because it was what we realized was necessary to successfully transfer 640 online for 4 weeks. How to carefully design social presence for a teacher and student is something I continuously think about. I feel much of it begins with some trial and error, testing how comfortable the teacher and student is with expressing themselves online. Creating an open, safe place among people that have not met (and possibly never will) is a definite challenge!

  3. bwatwood says:

    Neat post and neat comments. Love the circular idea – it resonates with me!

  4. Yes! The circular comment is great and so true – I think that it may be some what of a 3-D like shape though – because as we revisit areas we are building upon them.

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