Mary Stewart, English Department, published an essay, “Communities of Inquiry: A Heuristic for Designing and Assessing Interactive Learning Activities in Technology-Mediated FYC” in Computers and Composition.
In her article, Stewart recommends that composition scholars and instructors adopt Randy Garrison, Terry Anderson, and Walter Archer’s (2000) Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework as a heuristic for designing and assessing interactive learning activities.
The CoI framework includes three components: social presence (how real people feel to each other), teaching presence (activity design, facilitation, and feedback), and cognitive presence (the thinking that results from interaction). Applying this framework
as a design heuristic involves an instructor identifying the intended cognitive presence of an activity, and then identifying appropriate teaching and social presences to support that cognitive presence.
Applying the framework as an assessment heuristic involves analyzing whether the three presences support or hinder interactive learning. To illustrate the ways the CoI framework can contribute to computers and composition research and instruction, this
article presents an online, first-year composition student’s experience with three interactive activities: asynchronous discussion, synchronous co-authoring in a Google document, and synchronous webinar chat.
Ultimately, Stewart suggests that the CoI framework creates a lens through which we can more precisely understand the goals and processes of asking students to interact with peers, and thus more effectively develop strategies for designing and assessing
Read Stewart’s article online.
Department of English