Community of Inquiry Theory (COI)
Although synonymous with online learning, the Community of Inquiry Theory (COI) applies to face-to-face teaching, too. In the application of COI, a face-to-face setting was associated with positive outcomes such as “deeper conversations, participation, and in-class work.
Independent learning, self-efficacy, and self-identity are frequently associated with online learning culture and distinct cultural norms. These terms align with individualistic cultural norms and the struggle of ethnically diverse learners who identify with communal cultural norms to find a place. Ethnic culture influences social and learning experiences.
Community of Inquiry creates robust learning and social interactions. Community of Inquiry is associated with online learning best practices and consists of three interconnected aspects of online learning: cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. Cognitive presence is one’s ability to make meaning of academic content. Social presence is the psychological and social attribute of online spaces. Teaching presence is the skill of facilitation and delivery of curriculum and content in online spaces. Although COI is a model of best practices for teaching and learning practices, the influences of ethnicity and culture on the social, psychological, and cognitive presence as well as student experiences are not represented within the model, nor do any previous studies list this absence as a limitation. Communal cultural norms differ significantly from an online learning culture, such as independence and self-focus. Cultural differences increase acculturative stress among systematically marginalized and racialized, and student populations.
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