I did indeed engage in each of the phases of critical inquiry. I don’t know that I resolved any specific problems but I have definitely evolved in my thinking about on-line teaching. Learning about the Community of Inquiry and the different phases of critical inquiry created a different perspective (much more in-depth) for me to use when approaching my on-line course. In addition, going back and reading all of my posts and having to classify them into the different phases once again helped me think more deeply about the on-line teaching process…am I helping my students reach each phase? Are there certain phases in which I am lacking? etc.
Looking at how I’ve classified each of my posts (into which phase) I think I’d like to focus a bit more on the resolution stage – for myself and also in terms of helping my students reach that stage – to me, this is the best kind of learning and I want to find ways to motivate my students to experience that!
As for engaging with my students, I’ve definitely learned that it can be more difficult but certainly not impossible within a continuous enrollment course. I have been utilizing a welcome letter and make sure to check student forum/discussion posts every 2-3 days. I try and reply to at least 75% of them – I want to be involved but I also don’t want to seem like a helicopter parent having to comment on each and every thing they’ve said…I want them to blossom their own conversations. So far it seems to be going well. I’m impressed with how often some of the students post and respond to posts and am humbled by the life experiences they have had and are willing to share within the course context.
I think an open platform is useful for learning and discussion although I don’t really like having my thoughts/feelings/musings accessible to so many people – personally, I prefer to have it more contained. I do however see the benefit in having a large group of people who can respond and ultimately, the larger group allows for more perspectives to be shared and more learning to be achieved.