Designing for online and blended learning can be a challenge, but support from theoretical frameworks can help organizing thoughts about what is important to include in such learning context. I found the Community of Inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework helpful (CoI Survey, 2020). The CoI include three interdependent elements in online and blended learning, namely the social, cognitive and the teaching presence (Anderson et al., 2001; Garrison, 2000; Garrison et al., 2001; Rourke et al., 2001). These three elements are important in a process of creating a deep and meaningful (collaborative-constructivist) learning experience.

The social presence can include different qualities of participants, such as the ability to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities (Garrison, 2000; Rourke et al., 2001). Cognitive Presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse (Garrison et al., 2001). Finally, the teaching presence includes the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes (Anderson et al., 2001).

The development of online and blended learning designs are highly topical and crucial for the future needs of learning, however the possibilities for doing that can be a bit of a challenge. There are many hinders, such as technical support, time aspects, but also collegiate resistance to adopt methods unknown to them. It is also crucial taking emotions into consideration as an important aspect that could affect students learning (Howells, 2014; Rowe et al., 2015). Emotions are unconscious states that arise spontaneously, while feelings are the conscious expression of emotion (Cleveland-Innes & Campbell, 2012). Emotions and learning is an important topic, that I have realized during the ONL-course, that I could improve in my own courses. During a course, students could benefit from becoming aware of their emotions and reflecting on and talking about them, in order to strengthen their focus on their learning. 


Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching presence in a Computer Conference Environment. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 5(2), 1-17.

Cleveland-Innes & Campbell (2012). Emotional presence in online communities of inquiry. International Review of Research in Online and Distance Learning. 

CoI Survey (2020-05-16)

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher educationmodel. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical Thinking, Cognitive Presence, and Computer Conferencing in Distance Education. American Journal of Distance Education.

Howells, K. (2014). An exploration of the role of gratitude in enhancing teacher–student relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education42, 58-67. 

Rourke, L., Anderson, T. Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 51-70.

Rowe, A. D., Fitness, J., & Wood, L. N. (2015). University student and lecturer perceptions of positive emotions in learning. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education28(1), 1-20. 

Topic 4 Design for online and blended learning