The digital era has brought view a new approach to teaching—online. This approach is known as computer-based communication (CMC). Without a doubt, CMC has been a great help in the educational world to facilitate the teaching and learning experience anytime, anywhere. Also, CMC has aided the web-based instruction in a more convenient way. However, this approach to teaching has not been well studied and the quality of learning has not been explored significantly (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 1999). Additionally, over the years, educators have been concerned how to bring about the face-to-face community into CMC educational instruction since courses online are mainly text-based—social interaction is not prevalent at all. Adversely, lack of human interaction has been the issue for CMC (deNoyelles, Zydney, & Chen, 2014).
Swan, Richardson, and Garrison (2009) mentioned that human interaction is significant to the teaching and learning environment. Without it, students get frustrated and disappointed in the learning course especially online. Hence, a framework of Community of Inquiry (CoI) was conceptualized. CoI has greatly helped the learning process of the students since it aims to have the three core elements—social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence—be established in a web-based instruction environment (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 1999; and Swan, Garrison, & Richardson, 2009). CoI allows the teacher to use different kinds of software to facilitate a more interactive, collaborative, and socially mediated teaching (Morrison, 2014). CoI supports teachers to practice the social, cognitive, and teaching presence in the learning environment of the students.
It is indisputable that education has evolved from simply using books and papers to computers and web-based instruction yet Philippines in the state of educational technology is still way off course of this evolution. Philippines juggle from paper to computer-based instruction (Maghirang, 2016). Many Filipino teachers look at technology as cumbersome, so they opt to the face-to-face interaction which limits the students learning experiences. The CoI framework will surely provide a more enriched learning since it will facilitates the different needs of students. As Febro and Buan (2013) posit in their Philippine study regarding the use of educational technology, “learning is better retained when students are provided the chance to apply and continue the experience.” CoI provides this kind of learning since it fosters the process of acquiring knowledge and information even when teachers are not available physically or even outside the classroom. In general, students will have a meaningful learning experience if the CoI framework will be used. CoI promotes interpersonal relationship among the students and between the students and the teacher. It intensifies the students’ eagerness to collaborate and be actively engage in their learning. More so, it opens the way for broader and wider learning of the students as they explore the learning web-based environment with CoI framework (Lowenthal, 2012; Febro & Buan, 2013; and Maghirang, 2016). Altogether, CoI is beneficial to the teaching and learning environment.
In a Christian perspective, God has been using the community of Inquiry framework to let us feel what heaven is like, how much He loves us, and reveal His character. He creates the social presence by our family, friends, and the environment we were at in the past, we are in at the moment, and we would be in the future. He creates the cognitive presence through the Bible and nature’s disclosure. He creates teaching presence through our day to day experiences.
deNoyelles, A. Z., Zydney, J. & Chen, B. (2014). Strategies for creating a community of inquiry through online asynchronous discussion. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 153-165. Retrieved from goo.gl/EvFmgI
Febro, R., & Buan, A. (2013). Development of educational technology courses and their application in student teaching: case of Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines. Teacher Education Curriculum in Asia, pp. 40-55. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273347913_Development_of_educational_technology_courses_and_their_application_in_student_teaching_case_of_Mindanao_State_University_-_Iligan_Institute_of_Technology_Philippines_pp_40-_50_Case_Studies_on_Integra
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The internet and higher education, 2(2), 87-105. Retrieved from: goo.gl/5ryayN
Lowenthal, P. R. (2012). Social presence: what is it? how do we measure it? (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from: goo.gl/pvPtXO
Morrison, D. (2014,). Community of inquiry model: How to develop social presence in online and F2F courses with social media. Retrieved from Online Learning Insights: goo.gl/KvkeFX
Swan, K., Garrison, D. R. & Richardson, J. C. (2009). A constructivist approach to online learning: the Community of Inquiry framework. In Payne, C. R. (Ed.) Information Technology and Constructivism in Higher Education: Progressive Learning Frameworks. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 43-57.
Maghirang, T. (2016). Educational technology platform Canvas to accelerate learning in PH. Retrieved from http://www.interaksyon.com/infotech/educational-technology-platform-canvas-to-accelerate-learning-in-ph