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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

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Metacognition in A Technologically-Enhanced Environment

Sarah Inman (Stevens Institute of Technology, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 1:45pm
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Blended Program/Degree
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Atlantic Hall
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Discovery Session 1

Using a community of inquiry framework, we explore the implementation of a case-based learning activity addressing dialogic interaction.

Extended Abstract

This paper focuses on learner engagement within a social context. We approach the design of online learning activities with a community of inquiry framework in order to enable deeper understanding of divergent perspectives for resolving ill-structured problems. Additionally, we suggest that the exploration of issues in authentic scenarios has the potential to deepen learners’ reasoning. Accordingly, we propose implementing project-based activities as a learning tool for better instructional design of online learning environments in order to engage learners in this exploration. Because social interaction yields co-constructed knowledge and can be examined from a social- cognitive dimension we believe that asynchronously engaging learners in an exploration of multiple perspectives provides opportunities for deepening both their engagement and understanding. For this reason, we propose an online discourse mapping solution to capture the progression of learner engagement in individual and collaborative processes.

We approach this study from a socio-cognitive perspective of learning. For this reason we initially focused our research efforts on examining how people make sense of individual, social and content interaction through the use of technology tools that enable and support visualizations. Using the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) to assess online learning, we find that engaging students in authentic, real-world activities leads to the highest motivation and retention rates. To explore how to better design with regard to informal and online learning, we pose the following research questions: Using the Community of Inquiry model, how can we design assessments for social, cognitive, and teaching presences to impact engagement and retention? As research has illustrated (Garrison) asynchronous online learning can improve higher-order learning based on concepts of “reflective inquiry, self-direction, and metacognition.”

This research will produce a “toolkit” for best practices in applying participatory assignments to course material. Participants in this session will learn how to engage students more deeply in project-based assignments, how to prepare students for 21st century problems, and how to connect and collaborate with one another. They will be given the opportunity to apply the lessons learned to design their own project-based learning activity. 

Lead Presenter

Sarah Inman is the Senior Instructional Designer for Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. She first became interested in pedagogy in a political philosophy undergraduate course. Since then, she has been interested in designing better learning spaces for facilitating dialogic interaction and curiosity, and creating a more personalized learning environment. Prior to this position, she attended graduate school at Georgetown University where she worked with Dr. Yianna Vovides on researching social learning analytics and instructional design. Together they worked on researching, designing, and user-testing online learning strategies.