How far have we come….?

How far have we come in Canada in the exploration, pedagogical confirmation and implementation of high quality online and blended learning in higher education? Over a decade ago, Windschilt (1998) advocated for more attention to increasing student inquiry through the World Wide Web and illuminating Web-based student communication. The release, and then extensive development, of a model of online communities of inquiry by Garrison, Anderson & Archer responded to Windschitl’s call. Now blended learning provides the opportunity to use multiple modalities in support of inquiry-based learning and new roles for learners and instructors.

Our new book Teaching in Blended Learning Environments (http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229) identifies principles which integrate foundations of inquiry-based learning in a community of learners for use in higher education. Below is Randy Garrison’s synopsis of the book. – Marti Cleveland-Innes and Norman Vaughan


“This book is not a recipe for the design and delivery of blended learning. The reason is that there are no simple recipes for blended learning. Each blended learning design is unique if it properly addresses the educational needs of the specific environment while creating the optimal balance of face-to-face and online learning possibilities. For this challenge, blended learning must be understood and approached from the perspective of a comprehensive framework that will allow designers and educators to cope with inherent complexities and challenges.  Teaching in Blended Learning Environments provides a grounded view of blended learning framed by seven principles of practice associated with the Community of Inquiry approach that will guide educators to make the best educational decisions for their specific needs.”

D. Randy Garrison
Windschitl, M. (1998). The WWW and classroom research: What path should we take? Educational Researcher, 27(1), 28–33.

Blog written by:

Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes
Professor and Chair,Centre for Distance Education
Athabasca University

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