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Teaching/Cognitive Presence from the teacher Perspective.

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James Hellman

on 5 April 2014

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Transcript of Teaching/Cognitive Presence from the teacher Perspective.

The Lost Sheep
Strategies to Support Teaching & Cognitive Presence in On-line Learning: The Teacher’s Perspective
Image taken from openclipart.org
Our aim with this presentation is to sensitize our colleagues to the concepts of teaching and cognitive “presence”. We have selected some on-line resources that represent the teacher’s perspective.
We hope this eclectic presentation will be both interesting and informative –and guide us as members of a Community of Inquiry.
We have included three on-line videos for you to watch. These YouTube videos present perspectives on teaching and cognitive presence. As you watch these videos (links) consider the similarities and differences in perspective and strategies.
Consider how the strategies guide the teacher to be “present” as students interact with the course material, one another, and the teacher?
Some of the literature we reviewed provided some information that reinforces the perspectives shared in the videos on teaching and cognitive presence from the teacher’s perspective. We would like to highlight some of this information at this time.
“If we teach today as we taught yesterday we rob our children of tomorrow”. John Dewey
Some of the literature we reviewed provided some information that reinforces the perspectives shared in the videos on teaching and cognitive presence from the teacher’s perspective. We would like to highlight some of this information at this time.
Two researchers (Kanuka and Garrison 2004) have suggested that the most likely reason for online discussion not supporting higher levels of learning is “the lack of understanding about how communities of learners are formed, and how interactions that result in higher levels of learning are designed for and facilitated in online learning activities.”
In the first video, Dr. Mark Kassel discussed establishing teaching presence within a Community of Inquiry in an online instructional environment. He addressed the design of the educational experience and facilitation of learning and offered several examples of how he structures on-line learning activities for maximum student participation--limiting his “presence” based on what the content requires.
As we transitioned into the discussions of cognitive presence, two additional videos provided the context. Cognitive presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct meaning through sustained communication.
Moreover, cognitive presence is the key element in critical thinking, a necessary element for higher levels of thinking and learning.
The crucial methodological constructs in cognitive presence are discourse, collaboration, management, reflection, monitoring, and knowledge construction.
"This requires that educators possess knowledge of and skills in the use of educational methods and learning strategies, as well as an understanding of how to use Internet communication media as a learning and teaching platform" (Garrison & Anderson, 2003).
Critical Discourse:
"Indeed, research reveals that the presence of an
instructor who models critical discourse and offers constructive critiques of student work is crucial to facilitating higher learning in online settings" (Fabro & Garrison, 1998).
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It can be seen as collaboration because you move from your private world to the shared world and from reflection to discourse--what is private and individual becomes public and shared.
“...that collaborative group project work should be in small online group discussion forums, where students can generate solutions, share and critique each others' proposed resolutions, prioritize solutions, and make collaborative judgments” (Fabro & Garrison, 1998).
One example of this was provided in the youtube video presented by physics teacher, Tom Moul, who discusses establishing and maintaining cognitive presence within a Community of Inquiry in a hybrid online physics course. He challenges his students to critique solutions to problems that have been addressed by their colleagues.
Establishing where to focus efforts--or engage in self-management--can be effectively facilitated
through online collaborative projects where students take increased
control of learning activities. Another example suggested students develop an online group project and present the project to the larger community where their feedback
guides them in their assessment of where their efforts need to be
focused.
According to Laurillard, there are
two ways to construct knowledge: through experiencing phenomena
(real life experiences) and through reflecting on abstracted phenomena
(academic knowledge). If the process of knowledge construction
is to be effectively facilitated through academic knowledge, it must
be meaningful to the learners; information is made meaningful through
reflecting on the relevance to one's world.
An example of monitoring would be self-assessment, in collaboration with the instructor. Use of self-assessment strategies can facilitate the process of setting standards of excellence. Rubrics were suggested by Pelz as an effective strategy to facilitate self-assessment.
Essentially, a rubric is a self-assessment tool that is particularly effective in evaluating criteria that are complex and subjective.
"Learners need to know in advance the criteria for a quality discussion so they can assess how well they are accomplishing the goal. This means carefully articulating demonstrable results that can be used as criteria" (Taylor et al., 2000, p. 303).

The crucial methodological constructs in cognitive presence are discourse, collaboration, management, reflection, monitoring, and knowledge construction.
"This requires that educators possess knowledge of and skills in the use of educational methods and learning strategies, as well as an understanding of how to use Internet communication media as a learning and teaching platform" (Garrison & Anderson, 2003).
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