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Teaching Presence

Teaching presence is one of three important aspects that must be developed within Community of Inquiry.

Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2004) present the community of inquiry model with three circles forming an overlapping Venn diagram showing the integration of cognitive, social, and teaching presence. Each must be developed in a teaching and learning experience, forming the basis for a community of inquiry (CoI). Garrison and Cleveland-Innes (2005) state that “an interactive community of learners is generally considered the sine qua non of higher education” (p. 13). According to Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2004) “a community of inquiry is an extremely valuable, if not essential, context for higher-order learning” (p. 1). McKerlick and Anderson (2007) state that a “community inquiry framework of learners is an essential core element of an educational experience when higher order learning is the desired learner outcome” (p. 22).

Teaching presence is defined as “the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001, p. 80).

Teaching presence is not comprised of a set of isolated instructional events but is infused throughout the learning process. Notar, Wilson and Ross (2002) note that a teacher interested in a constructivist approach to learning “must become a facilitator, collaborator, and guide who makes instruction learner centered” (p. 643). Teachers can facilitate collaboration, while providing models of critical thinking. Such modeling provides support and structure during the entire experience and process of community development, inquiry, reflection, and resolution. Through modeling teacher presence is increased while both cognitive presence and social presence is supported.

Teaching Attributes

      • Trigger
      • Garrison and Archer (2007), influenced by the work of Dewey (1933), present the practical inquiry model (PIM); a process of critical thinking with four phases. The first phase begins with a triggering event where an issue, dilemma, or problem that needs to be solved is presented. The trigger can be generated by the teacher, the learner, or by groups of learners. In contemplation of the issue, learners shift to the second phase –exploration—where they move between their own private and reflective world of thought and the shared world with the teacher and other learners or experts.
      • Explore
      • The second phase of the practical inquiry model is the exploration phase where learners refine their thinking and determine what is of value and relevance in solving the problem.
      • Integrate
      • In the third phase of the practical inquiry model —integration—learners construct meaning by moving between reflection and dialogue to determine how to describe the issue being considered. Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2004) express that this phase is “the most difficult to detect from a teaching or research perspective” (p. 4).
      • Resolve
      • The fourth phase of the practical inquiry model is where the learners establish resolution for the issue or problem by applying or testing a solution. This can take the form of actual manipulation of objects or agreement through discussion. Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2004) share that this can be done through “thought experiments and consensus building within the community of inquiry” (p. 5).

Source: figure 1


References for Community of Inquiry

      • Garrison, R., Anderson, T. & Archer, W. (2004). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. Retrieved November 1, 2009 from Cognitive Presence PDF
      • Garrison, D., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in online learning: interaction is not enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148. ebscohost.com, doi:10.1207/s15389286ajde1903_2
      • McKerlick, R. and Anderson, T. (2007). Community of inquiry and learning in immersive virtual environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(4), 35-52.

References for Teaching Presence

    • Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. In M. G. Moore, Handbook of distance education (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    • Notar, C. E., Wilson, J. D., & Ross, K. (2002). Distant learning for the development of higher-level cognitive skills. Education, 122(4), 642-647).
    • Trigger References
      • Dewey, J. (1933). How we think. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
      • Garrison, D.R., & Archer, W. (2007). A community of inquiry framework for online learning. In M. Moore & W.G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education.(2nd Edition). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum, 77-88.
    • Explore References
      • Coming Soon
    • Integrate & Resolve References