Designing A Supportive Blended Learning Experience: The Relationship Between Student Performance and Social, Teacher, and Cognitive Presence
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This study sought to deconstruct the educational experience in a blended classroom (with both online and face-to-face instruction) in order to test for specific associations between elements of that experience and achievement (final course grade). The Community of Inquiry (CoI) (Garrison, 2011) framework considers a students educational experience as a combination of social, cognitive, and teacher interactions. Working with a large data set (n = 1,926) collected over three years (2011-2014) in 13 undergraduate, blended classrooms at a prominent Canadian university, this study examined how student perceptions of these interactions (with peers, course content, and instructors) related to grades. Using data modelling techniques, results showed a significant, and direct (path coefficient of 0.16, p<0.001) relationship between presence and grade, with results on the presence interrelationship [teacher social (0.23, p < 0.001), and social cognitive (0.45, p < 0.001)] highlighting the role of teacher presence in promoting achievement. Student adoption attitudes also presented as a key consideration in the presence-achievement relationship (0.41, p <0.001), as well as blend format (F=29.98, p < 0.001), where the more integrated, clear, communicative, and consistent a course was about expectations and assessments, the more presence students felt and in turn, the higher those formats performed.