One important goal in first-year courses is to teach incoming students the social and community norms needed for college success. Given growing numbers of online classes as well as the transition to and from online learning, we consider how we can co-construct a community of learners and teach these norms, whether online or in the classroom. We use the Community of Inquiry Framework to evaluate social, teaching, and cognitive presence in learning environments We began this work by developing a system for co-teaching an online synchronous freshman seminar course which provided students with a caring community, opportunities to engage socially, and the skills needed to succeed at college. Flipped teaching strategies including tools such as check-in/out questions, online chat, breakout sessions, and paired activities were used to promote engagement and essential social connection among students. In addition, the online format facilitated the use of unique activities such as polling, internet searches, and collaborative resources developed by students. Student evaluations of teaching were compared for online co-taught classes versus traditional lecture-based in-person sections. Evidence suggested that students perceived the online co-taught classes more positively, and they provided comments to support all three aspects of the community of inquiry framework. Our work demonstrates that collaborative activities in a flipped classroom can enhance social, teaching, and cognitive presence. We will discuss these dimensions of teaching and learning and how they worked to help prepare students for college success, both online and in the classroom.
Christa Moore is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Co-Director of UVA Wise CONNECTS, an experiential learning initiative, at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Her background is in clinical sociology and social work with specializations in child welfare, family violence, and organizational responses to fragile families and similarly vulnerable populations residing in rural communities. Christa’s current work explores the experiences of incoming college students working to overcome adverse childhood experiences among other precarious life histories and risk factors.
Madelynn Shell is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University – Central Texas. Her background is in developmental psychology, with a focus on social and emotional development during school transitions. Madelynn’s current work investigates how socioemotional adjustment influences the transition to college. In particular, she is interested in how various risk and protective factors, such a shyness, friendship, and college belonging, can influence academic success and retention.