Bringing the Librarian to Online Courses: Cognitive, Social, and Teaching Presence

Bringing the Librarian to Online Courses: Cognitive, Social, and Teaching Presence

Nancy Weissman (Cuyahoga Community College, USA) and Karen Swan (University of Illinois – Springfield, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3688-0.ch010
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This chapter explores the way one librarian is bringing real-time, personalized instruction to students in online classes to engage them dynamically with their library and provide the best possible learning experiences. The discussion is grounded in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, perhaps the most widely accepted model of online learning, and suggests that learning online is supported by three “presences”: cognitive, social, and teaching. The model and each presence are discussed first, followed by virtual library instruction being introduced. Virtual library instruction is seen as the way to ensure equity in providing library services for fully online students and, specifically, information literacy instruction. The authors discuss how virtual librarians can use cognitive, social, and teaching presence to make their instruction more effective. Specific tools, strategies, and best practices are presented, as are general recommendations for similar development.
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Community Of Inquiry Framework

Built upon the core elements of cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) posits that online learning results from engaging a community in a course of inquiry. In this model of inquiry, knowledge construction is a process implemented via cognitive, social, and teaching presence as described in the sections that follow. Figure 1 illustrates that the core of these intersecting elements is a collaborative, constructivist educational experience that is consistent with the writings of J. Dewey (1938). Together, the two key ideas of community and inquiry form a pragmatic organizing framework of sustainable principles and processes for the purpose of guiding online educational practice (Swan, Garrison, & Richardson, 2009).

Figure 1.

Community of Inquiry Framework. Adapted from Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2001). Used by permission.


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