OTL101 – Post 2

Prior to starting the course, I did not have a clear understanding of the cognitive presence model. Cognitive presence relates to levels of meaning obtained through communication. A practical inquiry model as described by Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2001) is an approach that operationalizes the cognitive presence model.

In Post 1, I discussed the benefits of collaboration and communication in the learning process. This was anecdotal information based largely on personal experience. The practical inquiry model provides context and rigour for interpreting (and directing) meaningful learning through the communication process.

Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2001) concluded that viewpoint that the practical inquiry model is most appropriate when measuring applied knowledge in adult learning. I would be interested to know whether more recent research supports this conclusion? If so, this may have significant implications for developers of online courses.

I have seen the practical inquiry model used to structure online assignments for a graduate level course in Information Technology. Weekly assignments were constructed such that Thursday through Monday student assignment would focus on initiation and exploration. Activities on Tuesdays and Wednesday would focus on discussion of the assignment materials with the goal of encouraging integration and resolution. Instructor questions posed to the student participants in the latter stages of topic discussions being intended to shape the resolution process.

A number of the other posts on this topic have also discussed the importance of communication.