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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

COHERE-CIDER Sessions Series


Our new site at includes an archive of our past sessions and the most up-to-date details on CIDER.

The archived sessions listed below are available through the new CIDER Sessions archive, including access to the recordings and slides. (The actual files will be moved to the new site gradually over the 2021-22 season before this site closes.)


CIDER Session Season



June 16, 2021
Appreciative Inquiry based faculty development: A mixed methods case study
Leeann Waddington, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

The COVID-19 pandemic required a pivot to remote course delivery that provided many faculty an initial experience teaching online. This begs the question - how can we use this experience to support ongoing engagement with online delivery models in the future? For decades there has been discussion about the need for change in higher education, and more recently the potential for blended and online learning as a path forward. The pandemic may serve as a catalyst to move us forward. Appreciative inquiry is an organizational development framework that focusses on strengths and success to build capacity for future innovation and change. It has been used in education to support teaching and learning, curriculum and community development, leadership, program evaluation and more. This mixed methods case study explores how the use of appreciative inquiry by education developers impacts faculty adoption of technology and online delivery models as well as their professional development experience. The use of appreciative inquiry offers faculty an opportunity to engage in a reflective, collaborative strengths-based process to re-imaging their future teaching practice.

Leeann Waddington leads the Learning Technology and Educational Consultant teams at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in their efforts to support innovation in teaching and learning. Previously an experienced faculty member in Nursing and Health Sciences, Leeann was the 2015 faculty Daisy award winner for teaching excellence and holds a Post Masters Certificate in Curriculum Design. Leeann is a doctoral candidate in the Distance Education (EdD) program at Athabasca University. Her research explores the possible impact of Appreciative Inquiry on faculty development aimed at supporting the adoption of blended and online learning. She is also an Appreciative Inquiry facilitator and trainer with the Center for Appreciative Inquiry and believes a focus on strengths will build capacity for innovation in higher education.


March 3, 2021
Changes in educators' digital literacies and perceptions of community of inquiry resulting from participation in an open online professional development course
Maria Kvarnström, Linköping University
Lotta Åbjörnsson, Lund University
Lars Uhlin, Linköping University
Jörg Pareigis, Karlstad University
Danielle Santos, University of Oldenburg
Alastair Creelman, Linnaeus University
Gregor Theilmeier, University of Oldenburg
Martha Cleveland-Innes, Athabasca University

Open Networked Learning (ONL) is a professional development opportunity related to digital competences and online community building. The primary target group is open learners and university teachers, educational technologists, educational developers and course designers from 13 universities involved in the project from Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, South Africa and Germany. In this session we provide a summary of the results to verify learner's changes in perception and attitudes after the course. This mixed methods longitudinal study used two instruments, "The Community of Inquiry (CoI) educator version" and "DigCompEdu for academic teaching in higher or further education version" to assess participants’ pre- and post-course changes. To better understand participants' answers in the survey a Forum within Padlet tool was implemented with questions related to why participants decided to join ONL, if the course offered an opportunity to change perspectives on online courses and also in their practice, and if they had plans to put it into practice. The results of the instruments showed statistically significant changes for all areas verified for digital competences as well as for emotional presence in the Community of Inquiry. Forum participants also reported that the course made them reflect on their practice and changed their perspective in certain aspects.



January 27, 2021
Bridging Connections between Heutagogy, Blended and Online Learning, and Lifelong Learning: What have We Learned?
Dr. Jennifer Lock, University of Calgary
Dr. Sawsen Lakhal, Université de Sherbrooke
Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes, Athabasca University
Paula Arancibia, Université de Sherbrooke
Debra Dell, Athabasca University
Noeleen DiSilva, Werklund School of Education

What is the relationship between self-determined learning (heutagogy) and lifelong learning that can be developed in blended and online learning environments? This question has guided a systematic literature review and a Delphi Study in three Canadian universities. Seven experts in online and blended learning shared their perspectives and experience in exploring the proposed conceptual relationship. From our two part research, it was evident that heutagogy is a new concept, yet one that has great potential in thinking differently in terms designing learning that fosters attributes of lifelong learning. From the study, we will share key concepts of heutagogical practice as tenets of lifelong learning, and some of the success and challenges when purpsosefully integrating a heutagogical approach in technology-enabled learning environments in course and program designs.

Dr. Jennifer Lock is a Professor and Vice Dean in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. Her area of specialization is in the Learning Sciences. Dr. Lock’s research interests are in e-learning, change and innovation in education, scholarship of teaching and learning, and learning in makerspaces.

Dr. Sawsen Lakhal is Professor and Chair of the research center CRIFPE-UdeS in the Faculty of Education, Université de Sherbrooke. Her research interests include applications of technology to higher education, online and blended learning, and persistence in distance courses and programs, quantitative methods and statistical model validation.

Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes is Professor and Program Director, Master of Education Program, Athabasca University and Visiting Professor of Pedagogy at Mid-Sweden University. Her research interest areas include 1) online and blended learning 2) communities of inquiry 3) higher education reform and 4) leadership in education.

Paula Arancibia‑Erazo is an Educational Sciences M.A. student and research assistant at the University of Sherbrooke. Her research interests consist of learning technologies, second language learning, and teachers’ training in English as a second language.

Debra Dell, M.Ed, MACP, is a doctoral candidate in the Athabasca University Distance Education program. Her research interests include emotions and learning and building learning communities.

Noeleen De Silva is a graduate of the Werklund School of Education, Master of Education, Educational Research, concentration in Adult Learning. She has worked as a Research Assistant on various projects exploring: the well-being of educators, the use of reflective practice in developing teaching identity, and the heutagogical approach.


November 25, 2020
Emotional Presence Indicators in an Online Community of Inquiry: A Scoping Review and Delphi Study of Student and Facilitator Experience
Debra Dell
Athabasca University

Presence in an online Community of Inquiry is multifaceted, involving conditions that emanate from both the facilitator and the members of the learning community (Cleveland-Innes & Campbell, 2012; Garrison, 2017; Garrison et al., 1999). In this regard, the recent assessments of the Community of Inquiry framework focusing on the articulation of emotional presence offer important contributions about the significance of emotions at all stages of the learning journey (Cleveland-Innes et al., 2013; Cleveland-Innes & Campbell, 2012; Kang et al., 2007; Lehman, 2006; Peacock & Cowan, 2019). Rolim and colleagues (2019) have raised an important issue regarding the affective in relation to the cognitive indicators and their importance along the continuum of cognition and deep learning in Communities of Inquiry. This presentation articulates the preliminary findings of an in-progress dissertation research project about the indicators of emotional presence in community of inquiry learning.

Debra Dell is a doctoral candidate in the distance education program at Athabasca University. Debra has had a long career in the field of “unlearning” specifically through work involving untangling cognition and emotion to improve functioning. More recently her work involves designing and developing workforce development and training for an addictions and mental health workforce, largely in online and blended learning modalities.


October 21, 2020
A Protocol for Developmental Observation of Online Teaching
Flora Mahdavi
Bow Valley College, Calgary AB

This session will provide a summary of the findings of a doctoral research on designing a protocol for developmental observation of online asynchronous teaching. This research has delved into providing pedagogical support to online instructors so that they can get better at online teaching regardless of their level of experience and knowledge in this field.

Educational developers can use the protocol as a guide to observe a specific area of teaching in a relatively short time frame. Observations lead to incremental development plans for instructors. The protocol includes definition and description of observable teaching practices in asynchronous environments based on the three elements of a Community of Inquiry (CoI): Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presences (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). The six key elements of this evidence-based protocol will be presented, as well as the critical roles of educational developers, online instructors and the higher education institution in rendering the observations developmental.


September 30, 2020
Creating a Community of Learning in the Zoom Classroom: Strategies for Establishing a Positive Online Learning Environment
Alysia Wright
Haboun Bair
Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning - University of Calgary

The Zoom classroom is similar to a face-to-face setting in that it allows for a synchronous gathering in which students and instructors can see and speak to each other in real time. However, the Zoom classroom presents some unique challenges, such as lack of engagement, barriers to developing rapport between students and instructors, and learning how to navigate the online classroom.

In this presentation, we discuss strategies for creating a community of learning in Zoom classrooms. By establishing a sense of community, shared ownership of the learning space, and clear expectations for both students and instructors, we suggest that instructors can not only anticipate but mitigate the challenges that might otherwise compromise learning in the Zoom classroom. This session is broadly relevant to instructors, academic staff, teaching assistants, and other folks who are finding themselves making sense of an online learning environment.

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