Pedagogical Requirements in a University-Context Characterized by Online and Blended Courses: Results from a Study Undertaken through Fifteen Canadian Universities

Pedagogical Requirements in a University-Context Characterized by Online and Blended Courses: Results from a Study Undertaken through Fifteen Canadian Universities

Dodzi J.-A. Amemado (University of Montreal, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2110-7.ch020
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Abstract

This research was undertaken in fifteen Canadian universities, using interviews of higher education teaching center managers and IT specialists, all of them having university-teaching backgrounds. The study concerned the ramifications to teaching requirements as university education shifts into the digital era. The research was predicated upon the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). In the light of this theoretical framework, the results demonstrated the importance of the elements of the framework: teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence. Interestingly, in the responses collected, the frequency of some indicators over others, such as information exchange, discussion, and collaboration, led to the conclusion that some categories, such as group cohesion, should be given a greater consideration in the CoI framework and, therefore, should be given more weight toward the pedagogical requirements for online/blended teaching and learning.
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Introduction

Information and communication technologies (ICT), precisely the Internet, have become a significant component that cannot be ignored in any university education setting today (Allen & Seaman, 2004; 2007). In the first part of this research (Amemado, 2010), it appeared that conventional universities are in a pronounced period of change, with higher education institutions evolving rapidly into partly or completely online postsecondary programs. As revealed, the most current changes include blended learning courses, bimodal universities, virtual universities, universities using diverse models and universities operating with artificial intelligence (Amemado, 2010).

Taking the idea of institutional change a step further, this research aimed at exploring teaching and learning implications for the current technologically-modified university environment. The main research question was: “What are the pedagogical requirements for the particular context of evolution of conventional universities under the influence of ICT?”

The research objectives were to identify more indicators for a teaching and learning context consistent with technology integration. In other words, the study aimed at finding other indicators and the most referenced by the participants. Finally, the research makes suggestions for strategic planning for online and blended learning to provide an easy transition.

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