Fostering Student Excellence through Extending the Community of Inquiry in Social Media

Michael Filimowicz

Grant programDewey Fellowship Program

Grant recipient: Michael Filimowicz, School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Project teamAynur Kadir, research assistant

Timeframe: September 2017 to April 2019

Funding: $6000

Courses addressed:

  • IAT 313 – Narrative and New Media
  • IAT 309 – Writing Methods for Research

Aynur Kadir

Final report: View Michael Filimowicz' final report (PDF)

Description: This project explores the use of social media in relation to the COI (Community of Inquiry) framework. Originating in the writings of C.S. Peirce and John Dewey, and developed further by Lipman (1991) and Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000), COI models the scene of learning as overlapping fields of Instructional, Cognitive and Social Presence. Preliminary research conducted, within the context of general course improvement, has suggested that student engagement and interest in social media platforms varies considerably based on already existing personal interests and practices. In previous funded ISTLD research, I focused on a single social media platform– Flickr for peer group review of digital photography (Filimowicz & Tzankova, 2015).

Similarly, with this project I would focus on a single platform, a course blog based on the Tumblr microblogging platform. The use of the course blog would be parsed out across the two COI areas of Social Presence and Cognitive Presence. Social Presence would be addressed through a showcase of student work, as previous surveys conducted have indicated that this is the area of highest student interest. Cognitive Presence would be addressed through providing linkages to relevant current events and stories from web-based media on a variety of topics that relate to the concepts and skills covered in the course. Instructional presence in the blogs is of a curatorial nature, focused on selecting relevant and current media stories related to the course, and curating the students’ work in the showcase. Another element of instructional presence is the connection between courseware content on Canvas and the course blogs (e.g. having online content discussing the course blogs).

Questions addressed:

  • How does a course blog featuring an online showcase of student projects contribute to learning?
  • How does a course blog featuring links to current stories curated for relevance to course-related topics contribute to learning?
  • How does a showcase of exemplary student work on the course blog foster excellence in students’ projects?


Angelaina, S. and Jimoyiannis, A. (2012). Analysing students’ engagement and learning presence in an educational blog community. Educational Media International 49:3, 183-200.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Filimowicz, M. and Tzankova, V. (2015). Creative making, large lectures, and social media: breaking with tradition in art and design education. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 14, 1-17.

Kovanović, D., Gašević, D., Joksimović, S., Hatala, M, and Adesope, O. (2015). Analytics of communities of inquiry: Effects of learning technology use on cognitive presence in asynchronous online discussions. Internet and Higher Education 27, 74–89.

Lipman, M. (1991). Thinking in education. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Lomicka, L., and Lord, G. (2012). A tale of tweets: Analyzing microblogging among language learners. System 40, 48-63.

Moore, J.C. and Shelton, K. (2013). Social and Student Engagement and Support: The Sloan-C Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Volume 17:1, 53-72.

Shelton, K. and Saltsman, G. (2014). Quality Scorecard 2014: Handbook Criteria for Excellence in the Administration of Online Programs. The Online Learning Consortium. Retrieved online:

Yamada, M. and Goda, Y. (2012). Application of Social Presence Principles to CSCL Design for Quality Interactions. Chapter 3 Jia, J (Ed.) In Educational Stages and Interactive Learning: From Kindergarten to Workplace Training. Peking: IGI Global.

Knowledge sharing: The project’s final report will be distributed to FCAT and SIAT colleagues, in addition to being published in academic media (e.g. journals, books and conference proceedings).

Keywords: blog, Community of Inquiry (COI), Social Presence, Cognitive Presence, social media