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Social and Cognitive Presence in Virtual Learning Environments

Keynote lecture - Chais Conference Feb. 20, 2007 Open University of Israel. Social and Cognitive Presence in Virtual Learning Environments . Terry Anderson, Ph.D. Canada Research Chair in Distance Education terrya@athabascau.ca. AU.

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Social and Cognitive Presence in Virtual Learning Environments

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  1. Keynote lecture - Chais Conference Feb. 20, 2007 Open University of Israel Social and Cognitive Presence in Virtual Learning Environments Terry Anderson, Ph.D. Canada Research Chair in Distance Education terrya@athabascau.ca

  2. AU

  3. “Canada is a great country, much too cold for common sense, inhabited by compassionate and intelligent people with bad haircuts”. • Yann Martel, Life of Pi, 2002.

  4. Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada Fastest growing university in Canada 34,000 students 700 courses Graduate and Undergraduate programs Largest Master of Distance Education program Only USA Accredited University in Canada * Athabasca University • Athabasca University

  5. “An expert is someone more than 500 miles away from home.” Prairie folk wisdom • "Don't be so humble - you are not that great." – • Golda Meir (1898-1978)

  6. Presentation Overview • Development and Evolution of the Community of Inquiry Model • Cognitive Presence • Social Presence • Teaching presence • Validations and Extensions • Methodological weaknesses • COI in a Networked Era

  7. Motivations for the Community of Inquiry Investigation (1998-2004) • CMC most widely used tool for interaction in online DE • Need for a bird’s-eye view of the overall learning taking place, and to respond to that learning, assess it, and intervene. • CMC hype & lack of empirical validation of claims • Need for heuristic guides for both teachers and learners • Desire to exploit affordances: • Machine readable • Time independent • Reflective power of text • Knowledge hidden in the transcripts • Need for teacher usable tools to assess interventions

  8. Story of Assistant Prof Jones:

  9. Expectations of Models and Theories • Create conceptual order and provide simplicity (parsimony) in describing and understanding complex phenomena. “Science is a way of ordering events.” • J. Bronowski, Common Sense of Science, 1978 • Improve practice through guidelines and reflection??

  10. Methodology- Quantitative Content Analysis • “The systematic and replicable examination of symbols of communication, that have been assigned numeric values according to valid measurement rules using statistical methods,” • in order to: • describe communication, • draw inferences about its meaning, • infer from the communication to its context, both of production and consumption. (p. 22) Riffe, Lacy, and Fico (1998) • quantify impressions • reveal additional insights that are not obvious from superficial reading or participation. • allow educational researchers to compare, replicate results, increase understanding.

  11. “This article lays out a conceptual framework that identifies the elements that are crucial prerequisites for a successful higher educational experience.” • 199 citations in Goggle Scholar • Communitiesofinquiry.com Internet and Higher Education (2002)

  12. John Dewey - reflective thinking • "Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends". (Dewey, 1933)

  13. Characteristics of a Community of Inquiry • Questioning • Reasoning • Connecting • Deliberating • Challenging • Problem Solving • Mathew Lipman, 2003 • “In reality, the reflective model is thoroughly social and communal.” p. 25

  14. Cognitive Presence • Definition: The extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication. • From Dewey, practical inquiry • Variation of scientific method • Most latent category • Used full message as unit of analysis

  15. Cognitive Presence • “An awareness of the critical thinking and inquiry dynamic is an essential metacognitive ability that encourages students: • to approach a problem strategically and • actively seek out sources of knowledge, • discover biases, • sift through the increasingly large quantities of information now available, and • formulate and defend their own intellectual positions.” p. 96

  16. CognitivePresence Coding Results – Two Graduate level Courses

  17. Phases of Cognitive Presence Meyer, K.(2003)Face-to-face versus threaded discussions: The role of time and higher-order thinking – JALN 7(3)

  18. Why low rate of problem resolution? • Instructional design- no problem to resolve • Poor teacher guidance/assessment • Resolution reflected in final papers/exams or case studies – not in online discussion • Artificial context of formal learning- no space for real application • Poor instrumentation or model • Online asynch discussion is not powerful enough to support full cognitive presence • Takes too much time

  19. Social Presence • Social presence is defined as "the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally, as ‘real’ people (i.e. their full personality), through the medium of communication being used” • Literature reviewed from “filtered-cues” (Short, et al. 1976) to “hyper-personal” (Walther, 1996). • Most culturally bound of the ‘presences’ • “social-emotional literacy appears to be the most complicated of all types of digital literacy” • (Eshet, 2004)

  20. Social Presence Confirmation • Rourke and Anderson (2000) an increase in the perceived frequency (survey results) of 7 of the 15 social expressions corresponded significantly to more positive ratings of the social environment. • The 7 social expressions included addressing others by name, complimenting, expressing appreciation, using the reply feature to post messages, expressing emotions, using humor, and salutations.

  21. “We argue that cognitive presence …is more easily sustained when a significant degree of social presence has been established” • Boot camps (F2F) and profiles • Value of real time interaction? • Aided by systems that support photos of participants? • SecondLife? Value of expressions and avatars?

  22. Comparing COI Online vs Face-to-Face Heckman & Annabi (2005) JCMC 10(2)

  23. Teaching Presence • Defined as: The design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes. • Built upon the familiar models of Moore, Holmberg, Paulsen, and Mason, however provide ways to measure the construct.

  24. Teaching Presence • The transcript analysis allows researcher to disaggregate the roles • Instructional designer and activity organizer • Discourse facilitator • Subject matter expert • Especially critical in computer conferencing (asynch text) based education systems • Major cause of course breakdown.

  25. Teaching Presence results: Percentage of instructor messages

  26. Percentage of instructor messages with multiple functions

  27. Teacher Presence • Correlated with perception of learning and learner satisfaction: Shea, Pickett, & Pelz (2003) A FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATION OF “TEACHING PRESENCE” IN THE SUNY LEARNING NETWORK. JALN 7(3)

  28. Teaching Presence & Peer Moderating • Peer teams (3-4 persons) moderated conferences last half of graduate course • Higher levels of all three indicators of teacher presence than instructor! • Many more moderator postings by peers • Shows value of sharing and delegating teaching presence • Interviews found insufficient probing by peer facilitators – too much share and compare • Rourke and Anderson, 2002, JIME

  29. Teaching presence and Peer Moderating • De Laat & Lally (2003) Complexity, theory and praxis: Researching collaborative learning and tutoring processes in a networked learning community Instructional Science 31: 7–39, 2003. “14 of the 26 instances of Teaching Process (54%) in the average ALN discussion were performed by students. In the average FTF discussion, however, only 8 of 148 instances of Teaching Process (5%) were performed by students. “Heckman & Annabi (2005) JCMC 10(2)

  30. Additions to Our Work on Presences

  31. Emotional Presence “The extent to which learners and teachers transform their behaviour to accomodate the overt and covert presence of emotion” Campbell and Cleveland-Innes, 2004 Affect in the Community of Inquiry Model, Masters thesis Athabasca University

  32. Emotional Presence Marti Clevland-Innes and Prisca Campbell (2005) Affect in the Community of Inquiry Model

  33. We had included emotional presence as a component of social presence • Did not allocate emotional as a distinct presence But we are REAL men!

  34. Student Presence • Students’ perceptions of the presence they had in the class were significantly correlated with the teacher’s assessment of their performance in the class, with the grade they would assign themselves, and with their attitudes about the course. Learning with Invisible Others: Perceptions of Online Presence and their Relationship to Cognitive T Russo, S Benson - Educational Technology & Society, 2005

  35. PLE’s • “The logic of education systems should be reversed so that it is the system that conforms to the learner, rather than the learner to the system.” Futurelab Personalisation and Digital Technologies Green et al 2005 Downes, 2006

  36. LSA and Neural Net • McKlin et al (2004) used our Cognitive presence indicators with 182 General Inquirer categories and set of our key words to train a neural network. • Good results, with comparable reliability to human coders. • Need for more work using Neural nets, Latent Semantic Analysis and other automated techniques. Image: omobb.oasysmobile.com

  37. COI Validation – Factor analysis • Garrison, Cleveland-Innes & Fung (2004) Student role adjustment in online communities of inquiry: Model and instrument validation Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 2004 • Confirmed students role clustered into three presences

  38. COL used as a model for application analysis • Of a role playing simulation MEKONG e-SIMwww.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/materia/publication/confpapers/ICET2004paper.pdf. • To compare Blogs and Threaded discussions. Anderson, 2006 • Currently developing indicators for virtual worlds - SecondLife

  39. Informal Blogged Support • “I think I'm actually applying their framework already by default, one of the great things about good models is that you don't really need to apply them - you just find yourself doing it. I think that Garrison and Anderson's model is descriptive rather than prescriptive in this regard.”Mark Nichols • Blog http://www2.blogger.com/profile/05666493097199544658

  40. Is Text Analysis Worth it? • “The preliminary application of our coding template using the indicators reveal that it is a useful method for identifying, assessing, and facilitating cognitive, social, and teaching presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing.” • Reliability and validity ?????

  41. Methodology Reflections: • Unit of Analysis • What segment of the transcript will coders categorize? • Whole posting, sentence, paragraph, phrase? • CMC communication is idiosyncratic • variables often do not organize themselves into syntactic packages—paragraphs, postings too long, sentences, phrases too short. • How reliably can unit itself be identified?

  42. Units of Analysis • Message? • manageable data set, • objectively identifiable by coders, but often too large • useful when it encompasses the variable • ThematicUnit? • a single item of information in its natural form • most commonly used unit of analysis • unreliable, coders are not alerted to the need for a decision. • Speech Turn? • Grammatical indicator? • Sentence, paragraph, utterance – • Paragraph description in Wikipedia is over 600 words – from one word to pages of text!

  43. Software to Aide Analysis • Qualitative analysis software • NUD*IST, Hyperqual, Atlas-ti • facilitates coding process both autocode and manually • Simple statistics and export • Quantitative analysis software • SPSS • facilitates assessment of interrater agreement • Presentation of descriptive statistics

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