Today while riding the bus to my workplace, I decided to read a little more on the concept of community of inquiry (CoI). So as most of us do, I googled the term and immediately started reading the Wikipedia page on it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_inquiry). So first thing I learnt: CoI has been a concept taken from some early philosophers and applied to the education field (as a side reflection, more and more concepts are transcending subject boundaries). Then I started reading the application of CoI in the online learning environment and then clicked on the link to the study by Ling (http://jite.org/documents/Vol6/JITEv6p153-168Lim258.pdf), which has reported positive results in a case study of an online undergraduate information technology course in the sense that the author found all three elements of cognitive, social and teaching presences present in the course. Then I came to understand that CoI concept and the constructivist perspective are pretty much aligned. Constructivism suggests that humans construct knowledge and meaning through experiences (https://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/learning_teaching/ict/theory/constructivism.shtml). Using this link, I was led to looking for differences between traditional and constructivist classroom and then I started looking at the table comparing the two (https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub1.html). The most interesting differences to me are that in a constructivist classroom, knowledge is seen as dynamic and changing with our experiences and students work primarily in groups. Thus I understand that students learn from each other through an interactive reflective process. Would it not be cool to read the study by Ling in detail as to see how did he achieve the bright results and try to replicate his findings and thus test the constructivist theory? Uff, what a terminology rich beginning to my morning ?

Topic 4: Community of Inquiry and the constructivist perspective to learning