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Community of Inquiry

Communities are a highly important part of learning. Pierce and Dewey's model below explains the variety of areas required in order to build a successful online learning community. 

Under the teaching presence, the Community of Inquiry ensures that the content is designed in a way that facilitates cognitive and social processes to enhance learning - defining, initiating and focusing discussion, sharing and demonstrating personal meaning and application.


In social presence, learners must be able to present themselves as 'real people' by bringing their personal characteristics into the community and facilitating open communication and group cohesion, and in the cognitive presence learners are then able to construct meaning through sustained communication with peers and the tutors, such as information exchange, connecting ideas, and applying new ideas


Our online communities

There are several ways to create communities for online learners: via MyBeckett, via synchronous conferencing tools and via social media. 

On MyBeckett, as well as creating learning that invites discussion, you can promote icebreakers, getting to know you activities - and perhaps including images on your profile. 

In synchronous conferencing, allowing students to talk, to take the reigns, or perhaps to break out into discussions of their own. 

You could use Google Communities, Facebook, Twitter or other platforms to provide a social community for your students. In DLU we tend to use Google Communities.

Google Communities

Leeds Beckett Distance Learning Community

You can access the Google Community meant for all Leeds Beckett Distance Learners regardless of course here: https://plus.google.com/communities/101909560254977199148.

 This community is promoted in Welcome emails to students and in their Induction areas. Students are able to post in the group and communicate with each other, and we have a rolling series of posts. These include: 

  • A weekly post of interest from a range of staff members
  • A regular video post describing services available to Distance Learners via the University
  • As necessary Service Updates such as MyBeckett and TurnItIn downtime. 

This community is moderated by DLU.

Course and Module Communities

You may also want to have a social media course or module community. We have some courses that use just one Google Community for the whole course, and others that use a combination of Couse and Module communities to promote interaction and sharing. 

Need more help? Contact us


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