Educational Theories,  Podcast,  Teaching & Learning

Transform Your Teaching: Building a Community of Inquiry for Effective Online Learning – Cognitive Presence with Dr. Norm Vaughan 

Reading Time: < 1 minute

In this episode, Dr. Rob McDole and Jared Pyles chat with Dr. Norm Vaughan who has a PhD in Education from the University of Calgary and is currently a professor in the Department of Education at Mount Royal University. Check out the episode to hear them discuss a key component of the Community of Inquiry framework—cognitive presence.

Podcast links

Show notes

Dr. Vaughan emphasizes the importance of understanding students’ needs and prior experiences to connect the learning with their existing knowledge. The design of a course should consider the unique characteristics of different groups of students and create an environment that fosters collaboration and interaction. He believes that the best facilitation of online courses involves modeling and guiding students through the cognitive inquiry process. Asking open-ended questions is important as well as engaging students in the exploration phase to deepen their understanding.  

Dr. Vaughan also discusses the role of assessment in promoting cognitive presence, noting the need for self-assessment, peer feedback, and external feedback from experts. He recognizes that challenges exist in teaching an online course, so he suggests using surveys and pre-assessment activities to understand students’ knowledge and tailor instruction accordingly.  

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