Strategies and principles to develop cognitive presence in online discussions

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The chapter is designed to provide online instructors with strategies and techniques for fostering greater cognitive presence in asynchronous online discussion forums. Online discussions, moderated and facilitated by instructors and students, are a staple in online learning environments and provide powerful mechanisms for engaging students in dialogue. However, oftentimes dialogues stall out at the initial inquiry stage, and deeper, critical thinking is neglected. Realizing the foundational nature of discussion forum activities, the authors present ways in which instructors can nurture cognitive presence and foster deeper lines of thinking in online discussions. The chapter outlines the four stages of cognitive presence while offering strategies and question prompts to engender cognitive presence in online discussions. A quick reference guide is included as a discussion aid, suggesting ways to recognize the stages of cognitive presence as well as providing question prompts for engendering greater cognitive presence and critical thinking. © 2013, IGI Global.

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