Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Learning presence

Greetings from the Austrlaian National University where I am in a reading group discussing "Learning presence: Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and the development of a communities of inquiry in online and blended learning environments" by Shea and Bidjerano:
In this paper we examine the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) suggesting that the model may be enhanced through a fuller articulation of the roles of online learners. We present the results of a study of 3165 students in online and hybrid courses from 42 two- and four-year institutions in which we examine the relationship between learner self-efficacy measures and their ratings of the quality of their learning in virtual environments. We conclude that a positive relationship exists between elements of the CoI framework and between elements of a nascent theoretical construct that we label ''learning presence''. We suggest that learning presence represents elements such as self-efficacy as well as other cognitive, behavioral, and motivational constructs supportive of online learner self-regulation. We suggest that this focused analysis on the active roles of online learners may contribute to a more thorough account of knowledge construction in technology-mediated environments expanding the descriptive and explanatory power of the Community of Inquiry framework. Learning presence: Towards a Theory of Self-efficacy, Self-regulation, and the Development of a Communities of Inquiry in Online and Blended Learning Environments.

I confessed to the group that I only just made it through the abstract and did not actually read the paper. I had so much difficulty understanding the jargon in the abstract that it put me off reading it. Some responded that it got better after a while.

It may just be that this is a field of research I am not familiar with, or perhaps as a practitioner I should not expect useful information in research papers. But perhaps there is a need for more practically orientated research findings in this field.

One of the group recommended "Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses" by L. Dee Fink.

We got on to a discussion of the different types of communication and how "face to face" in the same room differed from a video conference (which we are suing to Unviersity of Sooth Australia at the moment). This reminded me of Dr. Brian Corrie's seminar on Monday. The work he has done on collaboration using technology should be directly applicable to education

Also this reminded me of the Time-Place Matrix used to classify eLearning technologies. For the next reading group I suggested exploring the issue of how the Computer Mediated Communication is a different experience which different to a face to face experience in the same place.

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