What Factors Influence Instructor Success in Online Courses?<br />
Using the Community of Inquiry Framework to Measure Success<br /><ul><li>proposed in 2000 by Garrison, Anderson and Archer
a process model of learning in online and blended educational environments
grounded in a collaborative constructivist view of higher education
assumes effective online learning requires the development of a community of learners that supports meaningful inquiry and deep learning</li></li></ul><li>social presence<br />cognitive presence<br />LEARNING<br />teaching presence<br />
Social Presence<br /><ul><li>the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally -- as ‘real’ people
the degree to which participants in computer mediated communication feel socially and emotionally connected </li></li></ul><li>Social Presence - Elements<br /><ul><li>affective expression (expressing emotion, self-projection)
open communication (learning climate, risk free expression)
group cohesion (group identity, collaboration)</li></li></ul><li>Cognitive Presence<br /><ul><li>the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse in a critical community of inquiry </li></li></ul><li>Cognitive Presence - Elements<br /><ul><li>triggering event (sense of puzzlement)
resolution (synthesizing & applying new ideas)</li></li></ul><li>Teaching Presence<br /><ul><li>the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes</li></li></ul><li>Teaching Presence - Elements<br /><ul><li>design and organization (setting curriculum & activities)
13 teaching presence items (4 design & facilitation, 6 facilitation of discourse, 3 direct instruction)</li></li></ul><li>CoI Survey Validation<br /><ul><li>tested in graduate courses at four institutions in the US and Canada
now the most frequently cited process model in the literature (over 350 citations – Google Scholar)</li></li></ul><li>Commonly Accepted Factors<br />Courses Previously Taught<br />Institutional Training<br />Technical Support <br />Pedagogical Guidance <br />Origin of Degree<br />Degree Level<br />
Co-variables – age, gender, courses previously taught, completion of additional pedagogical training
Regressed on Teaching Presence, Social Presence and Cognitive Presence and Facilitation of Discourse and Direct Instruction Subscales (n = 94 instructors and 4219 students)</li></li></ul><li>Study 2<br /><ul><li>The equation was significant, HOWEVER
Being female accounted for 4% of the variance in Teaching Presence, Cognitive Presence and Facilitation of Discourse subscale</li></ul>Patrizi and Ice, 2009<br />
So, what does matter?<br />Research shows that commonly accepted factors have no impact.<br />Is it all a matter of one’s outlook toward learning?<br />
Social Basis of Learning<br /><ul><li>Theory and research suggest that collaborative learning is the most effective means of facilitating learning in online environments.
Based on Vygotsky’s concept of social mediated practice
Collaborative learning posits that individuals construct knowledge through dialogue, group discussion and peer modification.
The success of collaborative learning is dependent upon the ability of group members to assist peers in diagnosing and modifying misconceptions.</li></li></ul><li>Epistemology - Constructivism<br /><ul><li>Proponents of constructivism argue that knowledge is created through a process of inquiry and discovery in which external stimuli are interpreted in a unique manner by each learner.
A multitude of realities situated within each learner.
Dependent upon learners ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information.
Creation of meaningful, personalized knowledge.</li></li></ul><li>Epistemology - Objectivism<br /><ul><li>Learning is a sequential process in which individual units of declarative knowledge are assembled into larger declarative, procedural and conditional constructs to define reality.
Learners display an understanding of a single reality through declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge.
Premised on the instructor having complete control over the materials, pace and direction of learning.
Not dependent on how individuals internalize or interpret such information </li></li></ul><li>(Arbaugh & Benbunan-Fich, 2006, p. 438)<br />
Methodology<br /><ul><li>An exploratory sequential design with data transformation was implemented. Priority was given to the transformed qualitative components.
11 instructors interviewed – probing for understanding of technology.
Syllabi and learning activities placed within socio-epistemological framework.
Ethnographic reporting from instructional designers.</li></li></ul><li>Analysis<br /><ul><li>Triangulation of data with correlation emphasized.
Iterative, interpretive process to assess faculty understanding of application of technology.
Qualitative data used to support relationshiops from analysis of transformed data – understanding of technology & relationships to socio-epistemological orientations
Establishment of grounded theory was an objective.
Later confirmatory samplings.</li></li></ul><li>Socio-epistemological classification of course activities by instructor.<br />Activity type means for subgroup B versus all other instructors.<br />
Interview Data<br /><ul><li>Four instructors (Sharon, Stan, Linda & Monica) did not differentiate between technologies and pedagogical applications of technologies.
Viewed technological tools as a replacement for pedagogy in online courses.
Believed various technologies would dictate how learning activities are structured.
Beliefs not altered by significant training and support.
Perception not detected among other faculty.</li></li></ul><li>Relationships<br /><ul><li>Of all course activities, an average of 88.10% of those developed by the 4 instructor subgroup were individual. In contrast, the means for all other instructors were relatively balanced between individual (52.57%) and collaborative (47.43%) activities.
With respect to Arbaugh and Benbunan-Fich’s (2006) Teaching Approaches Framework, an average of 76.19% of subgroup B’s activities were classified as objectivist-individual as compared to a mean of 27.02% for all other instructors.
Constructivist – Group oriented instructors had statistically significant higher scores across all TP, SP, CP and all subscales</li></li></ul><li>Implications<br /><ul><li>Socio-epistemological orientations may impact instructors’ ability to construct and facilitate effective online learning experiences.
The potential to screen potential instructors on the basis of socio-epistemological orientations may be of benefit to administrators.
Training and support structures may be needed to address paradigmatic orientations of faculty.
More research is needed to validate this study and the hypotheses developed. </li></li></ul><li>Director of Course Design, Research & Development<br />American Public University System<br />email@example.com<br />Thank You!<br />Phil Ice, Ed.D.<br />Director of Course Design, Research & Development<br />American Public University System<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />