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CoI Community Course Information

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Review the course access information.

CoI Community  CourseFostering Teaching Excellence with the Community of Inquiry Framework

The Community of Inquiry Model (COI) serves as a framework for teaching and learning at APUS, informing methodologies and approaches to course design and delivery. The COI Community Course is a four week workshop dedicated to guiding APUS faculty through the three principle elements critical to a successful online learning environment – social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence.

Below are a few of the resources that will be of great value as we start out on this exciting learning journey together.

Professional Development Requirements

As you know, all APUS faculty members are now required to participate in annual professional development activity.

For fulltime faculty, the requirement is for two activities that apply to online higher education, involving 8 to 10 hours of participation – one activity relating to teaching excellence and the second relating to curriculum quality. The requirement for adjuncts is for one activity that applies to online higher education, involving 8 to 10 hours of participation, and relates – for 2012 – to teaching excellence.

For more information about APUS requirements, visit the Guidelines area.

FAQs in the Course Commons

When the Community Course launches, take some time to review the FAQ section located in the Course Commons. There you will find information about the different components of the Community Course and links to additional resources.

To gain information prior to the course start, visit the CoI Community Course Information FAQs.

Course Access Information

The Course Commons is the hub for connections to weekly overviews, learning activities, readings and other resources, presentations, Study Group access, and other areas of the Community Course. You will need to access the Course Commons in order to benefit fully from the course. View these steps on how to access the secure CoI Community Course.

The Course Commons is located in the secure area of the CTL. Access to the course will be through the CTL secure resource area, which will link directly to the course home page in the Community Course Commons.

If you keep seeing blank authentication screen (see below), then you are NOT properly logged into the portal. Do not enter your faculty ID and password into the blank authentication screen; it does not work.

blank authentication

The Course Commons and Sakai Study Groups will be open for access at 9:00 AM EST on the first day of your cohort launch.

Your Study Group 

When you register for the upcoming CoI Teaching Excellence Community Course, you will be assigned to a Study Group in Sakai.

The core learning activities in the Community Course will take place within Study Groups in Sakai. Each week you will be reviewing the key CoI concepts and related resources in the Course Commons on the CTL Web site and then accessing your assigned Study Group in Sakai. These study groups will allow you to work in smaller groups and to get to know your APUS colleagues from across disciplines. 

Study Group Participation

Participation in the Sakai Study Groups is a required component and integral to your success in the CoI Teaching Excellence Community Course.

Within your Study Group, you will have a weekly discussion topic to contribute to in the Sakai forum, which will be facilitated by your Study Group Leader. These discussions will be directly related to the key concepts and resources that you will review each week. In addition to the weekly discussion during weeks 2, 3, and 4 in your Study Group, you will be contributing to an effective practice compendium related to each of the CoI presences – the social presence, the teaching presence, and the cognitive presence.

Your Study Group Leader will be on hand to direct the conversation in the forums and to point you in the right direction if you need assistance in the course. Each of the Study Group Leaders will be going through the Community Course at the same time as you are and will be meeting as a team on a weekly basis to share the highlights of their group’s participation.

Sakai Study Group Leaders

Throughout the Community Course, please reach out to your Study Group Leaders if you have questions about the content and learning activities in the Community Course. They are going through the course with you and can address issues as they arise. Also, they can point you in the right direction if you get lost along the way!

Brush up on Your Sakai Skills

If you would like to brush up on your Sakai skills before the course starts, you can access the Faculty Sakai Center. You will need to login with your faculty ID in order to access these resources.

 For more information on taking a Sakai Basics Refresher course, visit the Sakai Training Information.

Connect with Your APUS Faculty Colleagues

The upcoming CoI Teaching Excellence Community Course will provide a unique opportunity for you to connect with your APUS faculty colleagues, across disciplines and schools. Throughout the duration of the Community Course you will have the opportunity to access and contribute to a variety of social media sites set up as online community gathering places.

The Community Course social media sites are designed as spaces for you to connect and share your thoughts and ideas related to the CoI, teaching excellence applied effective practices, and the Community Course learning experience. The Community of Inquiry framework supports the social learning model and associated research informs us that we learn best in groups. Online learning, as we know, can be challenging and having input and support from your peers is an effective method for enhancing the experience and staying engaged with the learning. We will be going through this course together as a large group, and we will all have something to contribute!

Community Course Social Media

Social presence

If you are new to social media, there is no need to panic! You will have time to explore these sites and associated reference guides during the Community Course, and find your own comfort level with these new applications. You can start by downloading the Community Course Social Media Reference Guide, which you will be able to access in the course as well.

Contributing content to the Community Course social media sites will increase the value of the learning experience for the entire community! Take some time to familiarize yourself with these associated social media sites before the launch of the CoI Teaching Excellence Community Course. You are welcome to contribute right away, and take advantage of this opportunity to build your professional network by interacting with your colleagues at APUS. Visit the social media sites that you already use to see what your APUS colleagues are saying on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Each of the Community Course social media sites can be accessed through the URLs below. We recommend that you add these to the bookmarks or favorites section of your browser:

 Social Media Icons

CTL Facebook Page

CTL LinkedIn Group

CTL Diigo Group

CTL Twitter Feed

The Community Course will also include a blog, YouTube channel, as well as other user-contributed content areas, providing you with the opportunity to share robust content and resources with your APUS colleagues.

Community Course Hashtag

We will be using the #CoICommunity hashtag for all posts related to the CoI Teaching Excellence Community Course and will aggregate postings made to Twitter and Google+ throughout the duration of the course. For more information on using hashtags, you can visit the Twitter hashtag best practice guide at at https://dev.twitter.com/media/hashtags.