Collaborating in a community of inquiry

[Update: I got a bit off topic in Ramiro’s collaboration, my original post for week two. This is more specific to our own community-I welcome any comments:)]

coi-presentation-diagram

Ever been in a lecture and somebody asks a question or make a comment that makes you think about the subject in a totally new way? Or it confirms an opinion or understanding that was already forming in your mind? It happens to me often. Some of the moments I most enjoy in a class take place when the lecturer sparks debate and conversation regarding a topic. I find it is easy in a traditional lecture (for me at least) to develop a type of learning tunnel vision. It is through listening to others’ opinions and experiences that one is able to see a different perspective and gain further understanding.

I found the concept of the CoI (community of inquiry) to be quite an absorbing one. I have always been more of a kinesthetic learner so for me the concept of a collaboration between the social, cognitive and teaching presences naturally makes sense. By presenting the material and creating a platform to discuss it, the lecturer leads the session, facilitating triggering events through respectful discourse and conversation within the safe community environment. This allows the students ( and hopefully at times the lecturer) to construct and derive more meaning than would other ways be possible through introspective reflection.

My natural instinct when moving within a community is firstly to engage with others through establishing points of reference. I look for the similarities, instead of focusing on the differences. It’s so easy to fall in the trap of ‘the other’, and to place oneself in a superior position. By doing this we unwittingly build walls around ourselves. Other people will always have a different perspective on topics, which is created through their own experience. I like to listen and learn. When it comes to our community of inquiry I would like to have the profile of someone that contributes and participates in the inquiry process. This should always take place while observing the social emotional environment and sensitivity within a group.

As professionals, I think we primarily should build bridges between the community and information, thereby helping in the process of creating what I might term an ‘evidence based practice’ society. My challenges in this? I must admit I’m an assertive individual with strong opinions-if you get into a political debate with me you will know it can quickly take on the shape of sparring. This is a natural tendency for most people but nevertheless an instinct that as a professional I will need to moderate. As long as there is respectful interchange we are there to enable the sharing of knowledge.

I believe this post incorporates the elements and characteristics I should display this semester. We should ask questions, inquire, be thoughtful of one another and respectful to each other.  It is an interesting exercise to be rewriting this post in week 5, as I feel I have a bit more of an understanding for what the community of inquiry is, particularly after the first Twitter chat. I look forward to more.

 

 

 

Ramiro’s collaboration

[Update: this was the original post I wrote for week 2. It was quite off topic so I’ve now written Collaborating in a community of inquiry which is much more relevant to our own community-thanks guys;)]

Collaboration, participation, combination, communion, congruity, connection. Versus antagonism, animosity, antipathy, hindrance, discord and hostility. What sounds better? These two groups are clearly at odds with each other. In fact, they are diametrically opposite. They are also part of a personal choice we all make every day. How do we want to operate through life? What do you think is better for humanity?

My natural instinct when moving within a community is firstly to engage with others through establishing points of reference. I look for the similarities, instead of focusing on the differences. It’s so easy to fall in the trap of ‘the other’, and to place oneself in a superior position. By doing this we unwittingly build walls around ourselves. A healthy curiosity for the world at large draws me towards differences in individuals and groups. What is it that makes them different? What makes them tick? What is their view of the world? Some of the most worthwhile conversations I’ve had were with people who, through talking about their lives, have sparked a different vision for me. When it comes to our ‘community of inquiry’ I would like to be someone that sparks that kind of conversation.

As professionals, I think we primarily should build bridges between the community and information, thereby helping in the process of creating what I might term an ‘evidence based practice’ society. My challenges in this? I must admit I’m an assertive individual with strong opinions-if you get into a political debate with me you will know it can quickly take on the shape of sparring. This is a natural tendency for most people but nevertheless an instinct that as a professional I will need to moderate. As long as there is respectful interchange we are there to enable the sharing of knowledge.

We currently live in an authoritarian world obsessed with fear, creating barriers and restricting inquiries into the actions of those in power. The message is clear: don’t ask too many questions. Don’t listen to the facts, go with the gut reaction. Although this may seem far removed from a community such as this, it nevertheless has repercussions on society at large. It has a divisive effect, separating communities and individuals and making it harder to create trust and therefore work together. As a race, human beings always achieve more when groups of people from different backgrounds decide to work toward the common good. This seems obvious, but it is easy to appeal to people’s base instincts. This is why we need collaborative communities that are well informed and tolerant of differences. It takes respect and tolerance.

To reiterate, I think this is part of a personal choice each of us makes every day. What can I learn from another? How can I participate? As with many other things, it is a matter of willingness.

I leave you with a sobering thought:

It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. 

Charles Darwin