The Authentic Online Community of Learning [AoCoL] model was developed as part of my Doctorate of Education Thesis: Designing authentic online community of learning experiences for higher education.
The authentic online community of learning (AoCoL) model
The hexagon design represents the multi-faceted nature of each of the components in the framework. Each of the components are layered to indicate how each subsequent layer contributes to and supports the inner layers.
Working from the middle outwards can help educators analyse and design their course. The central component, learner needs, is concerned with identifying the learning outcomes that students will be required to demonstrate by the end of the course. The learning outcomes guide the development of an authentic task that students can complete to demonstrate achievement of the intended learning outcomes. Once the task has been identified appropriate resources and supports can then be selected to help develop and maintain a community of inquiry. Finally, educators need to identify appropriate learning environments (or platforms) that will facilitate the delivery of authentic learning, meaningful learning with technology and the use of open educational resources.
The six principles for designing an authentic online community of learning (AoCoL) that emerged from the study and are evident in the model include:
- Learner needs: Provide opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate higher-level learning outcomes
- Authentic tasks: Create authentic tasks and assessments that reflect real-work/life situations
- Online presence: Select social, cognitive and teaching pedagogies, technologies and other resources to support student learning
- Authentic learning environment: Develop an environment that embraces the principles of authentic learning
- Meaningful learning with technology: Incorporate technologies that can assist learners with meaningful cognitive engagement and social interaction
- Open educational resources (OERs): Provide access to a variety of open educational resources to extend learners existing knowledge and skills
The above principles are not intended to be a recipe for success but rather, a guide to assist online educators to select and apply the most relevant insights to their own contexts.
- Download a print version of the AoCol model, guiding questions & instantiation suggestions