What I’m Learning in my Online Class about Teaching an Online Class

Cognitive Presence (or an answer that turned out not to apply to the question, but I wrote it and thought you might like to know)

I would like to offer myself up as an example of Figure 2 on p. 99 of “Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment.” (You can read it here, but really... and the diagram is below.)

ACTION: When I began looking for this week’s articles to print out and had trouble getting a link to work (I! who pride myself on being technologically ept!), I found myself in the midst of a triggering event.

  • Maybe this was a bad time to take this class.
  • It’s been a dozen years since I was in grad school.
  • Why did I want to get this credential anyway?
  • And what did all these pedagogical words mean, anyway?

In other words, I panicked, experiencing a “state of dissonance or feeling of unease.” (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, p. 98)

PERCEPTION: I recovered myself and remembered I can use ATLAS through Andover Newton’s alumni privileges, and when I couldn’t find the article I was looking for, I Googled it (“…alternatives that might help to make sense of the situation or problem,” p. 98).

DELIBERATION: Still somewhat dubious about the application of this material to my future, I began reading, underlining with my favorite purple pen. The pieces began to come together with the Table on p. 89, particularly with the list of Indicators, and especially “Sense of puzzlement.” I’m normal! A few minutes later I was noting in the margin, “All this makes total sense. I wonder if my years of online communicating didn’t influence my teaching choices, rather than the other way around.” Ah, Integration, “gaining some understanding of the acquired information and knowledge.”

Really. It's in the margin.
Really. It’s in the margin.

CONCEPTION: Now a set of new concepts that seemed foreign earlier in the day, after the pondering time allowed by errands, other work tasks and a dose of snowboarding watched with my 9-year-old, appeared not only useful but beneficial. I understand and I look forward to planning my next teaching experience with these ideas in mind, “the application of an idea.” (p. 99)

In the margin on that page, I wrote in big purple letters, “Ha! I am Figure 2.” And “the process of inquiry continues.”