Democratizing digital learning: theorizing the fully online learning community model

Todd J. B. Blayone, Roland vanOostveen, Wendy Barber, Maurice DiGiuseppe, Elizabeth Childs, International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, Apr 14, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

From the abstract: "As a divergent fork of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model, FOLC describes collaborative learning as a symbiosis of social and cognitive interactions amplified through effective use of synchronous and asynchronous digital affordances." According to the authors, "The underlying argument is that self-regulating and transformative learning communities can be established and sustained in fully online environments." I don't think the original CoI authhors would have ever disputed that. So what makes FOLC different? The "foregrounding democratized and emancipatory learning processes that are adaptable to the socio-cultural context of institutions and learners." This is a point where I've felt some tension with CoI (Garrison, for example, saying "strong communities must build upon strong pedagogic leadership.")

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