Move learners beyond the discussion concept
Motivate learners to utilize critical thinking process
Challenge: Maintain cognitive presence as the
classroom transforms to an online platform
Use effective tools to create a community that is
engaged in dialogue
This example assignment
in an online class is geared
Students are posed with an
ethical question in the
board, and asked to take a
Students are required to
find articles, websites, or
any sources of information
to support their
arguments, and post them
on the discussion board.
All students are required
to comment on each
other’s postings. This
thinking, and allows
students to be more
communicative with each
other, and reflect on
their own postings.
Students are to apply the information exchanged by
developing group presentations arguing for their side
of the topic.
Why is this important?
When moving to an online classroom, students often
feel disconnected from each other, and the
instructor. Regular communication helps students
stay active in the class.
Enhancing the discussions through:
Pre-structured threads: encourage students in groups to
Scaffolding: probing questions by the instructor
Role assignments: learners have roles in simulated
Debate: encourages contrasting viewpoints amongst learners
Darabi, A, Arrastia, MC, Nelson DW, and Liang X. (2011) Cognitive presence in
asynchronous learning: a comparison of four discussion strategies. Journal of
Computer Assisted Learning. 27, 216-227.
Garrison, D.R, Anderson, T, Archer, W. (2004). Critical Thinking, Cognitive
Presence, and Computer Conferencing in Distance Education. Retrieved November
1, 2013 from:
McKerlich, R., et. al. (2011). Student Perceptions of Teaching Presence, Social
Presence and Cognitive
Presence in a Virtual World. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3).
Park, C L. (2009). Replicating the Use of a Cognitive Presence Measurement Tool.
Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 8, 140-155. Retrieved November 1, 2013
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