Designed for educators who are interested in a basic introduction to online teaching, this competency-based learning pathway covers the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to support your learners with care, empathy, and compassion. The experience will introduce you to both the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching online. Complete the competencies, and you’ll learn about the myths of online learning, the community of inquiry (CoI) model, and how to leverage your teaching, cognitive, and social presence to engage online students.
The Online Instructor Pathway is comprised of five core competencies that are aligned to relevant content, practice activities, and self-assessments. The competencies are based on the community of inquiry (CoI) model. The CoI model is
Backed by peer-reviewed research
Supportive of critical thinking and inquiry
Complementary to the design of supportive learning enviornments
Upon completion of all five competencies, iDesign will award you a Fundamentals of Online Teaching Track Completion Certificate, which you can use to enhance your résumé, CV, or professional web presence. A community of inquiry is a “group of individuals who collaboratively engage in purposeful critical discourse and reflection to construct personal meaning and confirm mutual understanding” (Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. 2000). We truly hope this pathway will give you the stepping-stones you need to form your own community of inquiry to build supportive online environments.
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.
Online Instructor Curriculum
Myths of Online Teaching and Learning
What myths do you associate with online teaching? This competency explores common myths related to student populations, online-learning readiness, course outcomes, information retention, and student satisfaction. Along the way, you’ll explore how traditional and online learners differ and how you can ensure that you and your learners are prepared and supported in the online learning environment.
Introduction to the Community of Inquiry
The community of inquiry (CoI) is an outgrowth of the social constructivist learning model, which is based on 80 years of research and practice. This competency will introduce you to the background of this model, its core elements (social, cognitive and teaching presence), and how they can be leveraged to establish effective learning communities in a digital environment.
Teaching presence is defined as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes to support learning. How does this happen in an online setting? This competency explores that question by examining unique aspects of online course preparation and facilitation. Along the way, you’ll learn about best practices for sharing expectations, giving feedback, and providing engaging resources that support a diverse online learning community.
Built on relationships of trust and care for others, social presence can be the gateway to supporting the entire community of inquiry (CoI) model in a digital environment. Providing open doors for sharing who the individuals are and feeling safe in the space to do so is integral to any learning community. How can the design of a course be a foundation for that openness and connectivity through sharing of experiences and ideas? This competency will support you in learning how to do that more effectively in your online courses and communities.
Cognitive presence is a central component of the learning process. It can be modeled through both student-student and student-teacher interactions. Together with intentional design and teaching presence, cognitive presence fosters critical thinking and collaboration. Learners need opportunities for diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments. In this competency, you’ll learn about cognitive presence and how to support higher-order thinking through course design elements and interactions that are geared to the online environment.