Deep Learning and Cognitive Presence in Collaborative Web-Based Learning Environments: Student and Instructor Perspectives
Olszewski, Leonard J.
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This study examines the ability of online distance education courses using CMC and constructivist assessment tools to support cognitive presence and deep learning. Four online focus groups were conducted, three among graduate students and one among instructors who have respectively taken and delivered online courses in the Master of Distance Education program at Athabasca University. Transcripts of the focus groups were analyzed with the objective of developing a grounded conceptual model. The learning experiences, as described by the participants themselves, have shown that deep learning and cognitive presence are facilitated when learners have the opportunity to engage in learning activities with a high degree of relevance to their life worlds. Cognitive presence and deeper learning are also encouraged through the application of learning to the work or personal lives of the learners.