Promoting community and collaboration: Models underpinning an academic professional learning online short course
This chapter from 'Learning Design Voices' examines the theoretical frameworks and models that underpin the design and facilitation of an academic professional learning short course at a research-intensive public university in South Africa. These principles for learning design and facilitation can be applied in a variety of learning contexts to promote community and collaboration. The “Facilitating Online” short course is facilitated through the adoption of an “ethic of care” perspective that promotes modelling, dialogue and the adoption of a critical digital pedagogy stance. The design and facilitation of the course is underpinned by the Community of Inquiry framework for online and blended learning that talks to the importance of three pronounced presences: teacher, social and cognitive. In our view, learning is a social phenomenon that manifests through collaboration between facilitators and participants. We focused on the establishment of a digital community to create safe spaces for learning to occur. Throughout the course, the need for active and responsive facilitation is emphasised. This is modelled for participants to encourage adoption within their own courses and for their own students. The chapter contributes a view of how frameworks and models can be used to inform the learning design and facilitation of courses that emphasise the importance of community and collaboration within a local institutional context.