EDUU 629- Week 4

According to Garrison (2008), “the first issue is about shifting social presence from socio-emotional support to a focus on group cohesion (from personal to purposeful relationships)” (p.61). This idea ties into what I’ve already learned about Communities of Practice (CoP) because the goal of a CoP is for “a group of people who share a concern or passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Team BE, 2011). As a student, this falls true, at least from my experience. It has been difficult for me to adjust to solely online learning because I have had to learn how to build relationships in another way. However, I appreciate the relationships I have built through my online courses because it helps to know that I’m not the only one with the same concern or goal at the end. Being able to relate to one another has definitely made a difference for me in completing my courses. The social component can be built and maintained in my blended course by having my students participate in team building exercises and fun ice breakers. Since my blended unit is for first grade, I wold prefer for such activities to be done in the classroom so I could help guide the lessons. The social element can be used to support disciplined thinking by teaching students there are multiple ways to approach a topic, and they can be creative with the approach they take to complete the task (Gardner, 2008, p.33). 

According to Garrison (2008), “Cognitive presence is defined as the exploration, construction, resolution and confirmation of understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry” (p.65). This idea ties into what we’ve leaned about CoP because it goes hand-in-hand with we’ve been practicing throughout our whole Master’s Program. We have been allowed to explore (Pinterest) and construct (Wikis, Signature Assignments), as well as collaborate and reflect (Discussion Posts and group projects). The component of cognitive presence can be built and maintained in my blended unit by allowing more opportunities to explore, collaborate and reflect. Perhaps, this can also be done through in-class opportunities of exploring the manipulatives and allowing students to discuss their findings. This leads into supporting disciplined and creative thinking because it’s a new approach they’re not used to, and are allowed to think freely because they are not limited to using the materials a specific way.

Lastly, Garrison states that the teaching presence component is made up of three categories- design, facilitation and direct instruction (2008, p.67). This idea ties into CoP because we regularly interact with one another due to the way our courses are designed and facilitated. We have become familiar with the process and the requirements of our weekly tasks because it is practiced so regularly. This component can be built and maintained in my blended unit by the way I design the course as well as the way I set and deliver my course expectations to my students. The way that I communicate with my students will also play an overall role within the teaching presence component of my blended unit. Disciplined and creative thinking will be supported through the lessons, activities, discussions, and collaborative interactions students have in class, as well as online. 

Gardner, H. (2006). Five minds for the future. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing

Garrison, D. R. (n.d.). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Retrieved from 

Team BE. (2011, December 28). What is a community of practice?. Retrieved from 

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