otl101 ‘post 2’


The article ‘Critical Thinking, Cognitive Presence, and Computer Conferencing in Distance Education’ coincides with concepts I incorporate into the classes that I teach face to face at TRU. To help students enhance critical thinking, I value the importance of involving creative and problem solving strategies to promote intuitive and insightfulness regarding the different concepts addressed – and this allows educational learning to be collaborative and reflective. The Practical Inquiry Model neatly categorizes the stages or steps towards developing cognitive presence, which allows both the learner and the assessor of the learning to review and process the construction of thought to its meaning. The first step, the Triggering event, is important for the teacher to apply a creative, meaningful and captivating issue, problem or dilemma to initiate desire for the learners to engage in this learning process that encourages them to enter the exploration stage so they can move between their private view towards a shared world view. I believe it is this exploration stage is what advances cognitive presence in learners. Effective cognitive presence can be incorporated through online learning when the stages towards developing cognitive presence is properly facilitated. I completed my Master’s Degree through a blended program that included both face to face and online learning environments. I was fortunate to have such gifted facilitators for my online educational learning, as they promoted both a collaborative and reflective process as our learning community worked through the practical inquiry model regarding specific issues and concepts. It was apparent, that a key to start the process of learning effectively was to begin with an issue, problem, dilemma or concept that was of importance and interest to the learning group. This created an excitement for the learning community and initiated exploration. The facilitator of our learning helped tie our separate ideas together, which begun the process of stepping outside our private world of learning into each others. This allowed us to reconstruct our understandings at a deeper level – enhancing our cognitive presence.