Virtual Communities in Blended Learning: Cases Study at @rcaComum

Pilar Ibáñez-Cubillas, Maribel Santos Miranda Pinto, António Osório


In virtual communities, Community of Inquiry (CoI) is one of the most developed, collaborative and constructivist approaches amongst scientific studies on e-learning. The objective of this research is to analyse the existence of social, cognitive and teaching presence and examine the cognitive presence in a b-learning model. It follows a qualitative methodology based on studies, conducted with 97 educators, enrolled on four, part time training courses offered by @rcaComum about programming with ScratchJr. The content of these forums was analysed according to the CoI. model, obtaining 1,206 messages, categorized and coded in 1,895 themed units. The results are led by the teaching presence, with the moderator using a proactive role towards teaching. Social presence is based on open communication, while cognitive presence is marked by messages of confusion and the recognition of problems. It is concluded that the social and cognitive factors that intervene in hybrid training, question the value of the CoI model. The implications of the CoI instruction approach in a mixed learning model are discussed and recommendations for future research are included.


Community of Inquiry; virtual communities; professional development; forum; childhood

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