FACILITATION RESPONSIBILITIES
D. Randy Garrison
April 26, 2018

Nothing may be more central to the success of a community of inquiry than facilitation. Yes, design is a crucial predicate; however, if design is congruent with the purpose and CoI principles, then the ensuing dynamics are dependent upon the participatory facilitation of all group members and their willingness to assume responsibility for the personal and collaborative learning dynamic.

From this perspective I want to highlight the findings of a study that explored the dynamics of facilitating discourse in a community of inquiry. Specifically the study compared peer-directed and instructor-directed facilitation strategies using the Cognitive Presence (Practical Inquiry) model. The research concluded that "a peer-facilitation approach is more effective for fostering critical thinking and collaborative discourse" (Oh et al., 2018).

Similarly, another study looking at social presence found that fostering creative collaboration with less directive approaches can be effective. They concluded that "Any time that we direct the social or cognitive aspects of the learning environment, ultimately we are taking away those opportunities for the students to take full responsibility over negotiating the needed solutions to the challenges they face" (Hod, et al., 2018, p. 12).

These are important findings that provide confirmation to previous theoretical speculations with regard to encouraging participation. The reality is that students feel more at ease expressing themselves in a peer-facilitated environment where they are more willing to respond to and question their peers compared to the instructor. Unfortunately a common mistake is for the instructor to be excessively present with the result that it inhibits open communication and critical discourse. Students are naturally hesitant to challenge the instructor. At the same time, we must not ignore the essential role and responsibility of the instructor in terms of instructional design and direction to guide collaborative inquiry to resolution.

With that I welcome other perspectives on the challenge of getting participants in a CoI to exercise responsibility and control of the discourse. One question that I have is how might metacognitive awareness of the inquiry process enhance peer-facilitation (Garrison & Akyol, 2015).



REFERENCES

Garrison, D.R., & Akyol, Z. (2015). Toward the development of a metacognition construct for the community of inquiry framework. Internet and Higher Education, 24, 66-71.

Garrison, D.R., & Akyol, Z. (2015). Corrigendum to 'Toward the development of a metacognition construct for communities of inquiry.' The Internet and Higher Education, 26, 56.

Hod, Y., Basil-Shachar, & Sagy, O. (2018). The role of productive social failure in fostering creative collaboration: A grounded study exploring a classroom learning community. Thinking Skills and Creativity. Retrieved April 23, 2018 from: https://ac-els-cdn-com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/S1871187117301645/1-s2.0-S1871187117301645-main.pdf?_tid=caab29c2-5eb9-4f4e-9a04-b621227ded90&acdnat=1524514325_ba4e6efd2f43f3a3a4455e5f0be34ad6

Oh, E. G., Huang, W. D., Mehdiabadi, A. H., & Ju, B. (2018). Facilitating critical thinking in asynchronous online discussion: Comparison between peer- and instructor-redirection. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. Retrieved April 23, 2018 from:  https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12528-018-9180-6.pdf




POST A COMMENT
CONTRIBUTE A RESPONDING EDITORIAL


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. Randy Garrison
Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary
D. Randy Garrison is professor emeritus at the University of Calgary.Dr. Garrison has published extensively on teaching and learning in adult, higher and distance education contexts. He has authored, co-authored or edited twelve books and well over 100 refereed articles/chapters.His recent books are Thinking Collaboratively: Learning in a Community of Inquiry (2016) and E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Community of Inquiry Framework for Research and Practice (3rd Edition) (2017); for which he won second place for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Division of Distance Learning Book Award, 2017.


EDITORIAL KEYWORDS



RECENT EDITORIALS

CoI Emergence and Influence
D. Randy Garrison
November 9, 2020
I was recently interviewed for a podcast focused on Reflective Teaching in a Digital Age ( https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model/ ). The focus of

Intellectual Roots of DE and the CoI Framework
D. Randy Garrison
September 1, 2020
Bozkurt (2019) has provided a needed insight into the intellectual and theoretical development of the field of distance education through an analysis of 1685 articles from 1916 to 2018. This was precipitated by the fact that distance education (DE) has ...

CoI Theoretical Updates
D. Randy Garrison
May 25, 2020
The focus of this contribution is to highlight a range of research focused directly on or guided by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework. The CoI framework reflects learning as a process of

CoI Design Principles Revisited
D. Randy Garrison
February 13, 2020
My focus in this post is an article by Holly Fiock exploring instructional design principles and strategies associated with the Community of Inquiry framework. This is an important and challenging topic. Fiock “describes a practical approach for ...

Shared Metacognitive Awareness
D. Randy Garrison
December 7, 2019
Metacognition is central to the awareness and success of inquiry learning. Moreover, it is the means in which we learn to learn so we can continue to meet new learning challenges. Practically it means taking responsibility to monitor and manage the ...
The Community of Inquiry is a project of the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University, researchers of the Community of Inquiry framework, and members of the CoI community.