Week 7- LA #2

The Five Stage Model and the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework are influential concepts in online and blended learning, offering perspectives on how to foster effective learning environments. They share common goals in enhancing educational experiences but approach them through different lenses. Here’s a comparison highlighting their similarities and differences:

Five Stage Model

Gilly Salmon developed the Five Stage Model, a structured framework designed to facilitate online learning and e-moderation.  She explains it by using the metaphor of climbing a mountain with the support of the sherpa who is there to guide, support and assist. It outlines five progressive stages that learners move through in an online course:

  1. Access and Motivation: Ensuring participants can access the online environment and are motivated to engage. The learner sees the mountain.
  2. Online Socialization: Encouraging participants to connect and form a learning community. The learner begins to form groups to support the ascent.
  3. Information Exchange:  Involves sharing and disseminating information among participants. The learners share what they know about climbing the mountain and use the sherpa’s support to deepen their understanding.
  4. Knowledge Construction: Collaboratively building knowledge through dialogue and interaction. Through the interaction in their groups and the sherpa’s support and guidance, the learner has reached the summit.
  5. Development: Applying the knowledge gained in practical or reflective ways. Now that the learner is at the summit of the mountain they can use all they have learned getting to this place and start to apply it to other areas of learning, This allows the learner to integrate the learning.

Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework

The COI framework, developed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, focuses on creating a deep and meaningful learning experience through the development of three interrelated presences:

  1. Social Presence: The ability of participants to project their personal characteristics into the community, thereby presenting themselves as “real people.”
  2. Cognitive Presence: The extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse.
  3. Teaching Presence: The design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes to achieve personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes.


  • Both models emphasize the importance of building a learning community where participants feel connected and supported.
  • Both suggest that learning occurs through a progression of stages or steps, whether it’s the development of community and cognitive abilities or the sequential stages of engagement in the learning process.
  • Both frameworks value interaction and collaboration among learners and between learners and instructors as essential for effective learning.


  • The Five Stage Model provides a more structural approach to the development of online learning, focusing on activities and strategies across different stages. The COI framework, on the other hand, centres on the qualitative aspects of the learning environment through social, cognitive, and teaching presences.
  • The COI framework distributes the responsibility for facilitating learning more broadly across social, cognitive, and teaching presences without specifying a particular role like an e-moderator.


The Five Stage Model is a practical guide for structuring online courses, and the COI framework provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the dynamics of online learning environments. Despite their differences, the Five Stage Model and the COI framework contribute valuable insights into designing and facilitating effective online learning experiences. They complement each other, with the Five Stage Model offering a practical roadmap for course development and the COI framework providing a deeper understanding of the essential elements that constitute a rich learning environment. Integrating the strengths of both models could lead to more engaging, effective, and meaningful online learning experiences.


Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, R.D

Salmon, G. (2006). 80:20 for e-moderators. In: The challenge of ecompetence in academic staff development . CELT, NUI Galway, Galway, Republic of Ireland, pp. 145-154. Retrieved from https://eprints.usq.edu.au/18862/2/Salmon_Ch16_2006_PV.pdf

Salmon, G. (2006). Climbing the Learning Mountain [Video file]. Source: https://youtu.be/GbwJMKWFfbI

. (2013). Facilitation. In Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry (pp.45-62). Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press. Retrieved from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120229/ebook/03_Vaughan_et_al_2013-Teaching_in_Blended_Learning_Environments.pdf CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA

Week 6- LA#3

Lesson Title: Introduction to Bilateral Stimulation for Stress Management

Lesson Duration: approximately 4 hours (not including lunch break)

Target Audience: Youth aged 16-18 with varying levels of familiarity with mental wellness concepts

Learning Environment: Online, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities

Situational Factors to Consider:

  • Technological accessibility and digital literacy
  • Prior knowledge of mental wellness concepts
  • Emotional and psychological readiness


Learning Goals:

Cognitive Domain-understanding neurobiology: By the end of the lesson, students can identify the basic neurobiology of the brain structures, neural pathways, and neurotransmitters involved in the stress response.


This understanding will be assessed through a multiple-choice question knowledge check that demonstrates their knowledge of neurobiology and its connection to bilateral stimulation. The knowledge check can be taken multiple times until a passing score is obtained.  (I want to build it with the capacity to have the information they need along with the quiz so they can learn and reinforce the learning as they go and the quiz won’t go on until they have learned the information…like the quizzes we do in IHA for iLearns that you can take multiple times and go back and look at the information again until you have it….not sure what technology I would need for that)


Affective Domain-Personalized Wellness Plan: By the end of the lesson each student will create a personalized mental wellness plan that incorporates bilateral stimulation techniques,  demonstrating integration of knowledge and personal relevance.



Educative Feedback and Assessment:

  • Formative Assessment: Students will participate in a guided practical activity during the live session, receiving immediate verbal feedback from the instructor. They will also have an opportunity to seek guidance on their wellness plan 1:1 with instructor during one of the self-directed learning times.


  • Summative Assessment: Students will show proficiency of understanding of the basic biology of the brain by scoring 70% or higher on a multiple choice knowledge check.


Students will submit a wellness plan that applies the knowledge they have about brain structure and bilateral stimulation in the management of mental wellness.


Teaching/Learning Activities:

  1. Introduction (20 minutes): Students will be asked to remain on camera for the duration of the lesson except when other videos are playing or when there is quiet reflection time. Introductions and ice breaker game. Students will introduce themselves by their “backward name” (DEBRA=ARBED) then share with the group 3 things about themselves. A short brainstorm session to establish the rules of the classroom relating to emotional safety and respect will take place-and a classroom code of conduct will be produced.

Students will also be given resources for mental health support should the content be activating and more robust follow up required by a counsellor. Crisis line numbers will be available to all students.

**********************BREAK FOR 10 MINUTES********************************

  1. Introduction to the brain (20 minutes): Brief lecture on the mechanics of the brain, neurobiology and how stress impacts us. This information will segue into the connection between neurobiology and bilateral stimulation and how it can support mental wellness. Short video to reinforce the lecture material- this will be posted as a resource. To reinforce the information there will also be alternative resources available (infographic, podcast, article) This will support students with diverse learning styles.

********************************BREAK FOR 10 MINUTES**********************

  1. Self-directed learning time (30 minutes)- This is a time for students to go over the information given to them in the lecture on their own. An opportunity to look at the other resources. Instructions for this section of the lesson will include a challenge to find a relevant resource of their own to share with the class.
  2. Interactive Discussion (20 minutes): Live discussion facilitated by the instructor, encouraging students to share their initial thoughts on neurobiology, share the resources they have found, and discuss the connection to bilateral stimulation and neurobiology. Students will also be encouraged to share any prior experiences with stress management techniques.

*******************************BREAK FOR 10 MINUTES***********************

  1. Demonstration and Guided Practice (20 minutes):
    • The instructor demonstrates basic bilateral stimulation techniques via live video.
    • Students follow along in real time, practising the demonstrated techniques.
  2. Reflection and Self-directed time (45 minutes):
    • This time can be used to reinforce information. It is also time for students to reflect on their own stress and develop their wellness plan. Students will be placed in individual breakout rooms, and the instructor will spend the time visiting each student to support them with building their wellness plan.

****************************BREAK FOR Lunch 30 MINUTES*******************

  1. Knowledge check 1st try (20 minutes): Class will have an opportunity to try the knowledge check all at the same time- the knowledge check can be attempted until the minimum grade is achieved and will remain accessible after the first attempt to students after the lesson is over.
  2. Wrap-Up and Q&A (20 minutes):
    • Recap of key lesson points.
    • Open floor for questions, allowing students to seek clarification and further information on applying techniques in their lives.

Integration Check:

  • Ensure the learning activities are directly tied to the learning goals, with the formative and summative assessments designed to measure the outcomes of these activities effectively.
  • Provide resources for emotional support and additional learning for students who wish to explore deeper.


Materials Needed:

  • Access to the online platform for live sessions and submissions.
  • Handouts (digital) summarizing bilateral stimulation techniques.
  • Access to counselling or support services for students who may need emotional support.

By following this lesson plan, students are engaged through a combination of foundational knowledge building, active participation, reflective practice, and personal application, aligning with the integrated course design model for significant learning experiences.


Week 5- LA#2 Situational Factors

I would want this online experience to be more of a psychoeducational experience; the learning outcomes would reflect this, and formal evaluations would not be the focus for students. The group would be small, with no more than ten students. The general context would be that when the experience was over, the students would have a practical skill they could take away to support their mental wellness journey.  The nature of the experience would be both theoretical and practical as the learning experience would give background on how bilateral stimulation (BLS) can be used to support mental wellness and how the basic neurobiology of the brain supports this. It would also be practical because there would be opportunities to try out the BLS and learn how to use it for different mental health challenges. The learners would be in the class because they felt drawn to the topic, and as such, this would mean that they would already be mentally prepared to learn this new information.

Teaching this type of psychoeducational experience online might make the learning less stressful for students as they could have autonomy over how engaged they are with the group, they could have the ability to be on or off camera, and they may feel less self-conscious being in their own safe space. Some challenges to this platform are low technical literacy, poor access to high-speed wifi, and perhaps having external distractions because students are attending from ‘home’.


Dee Fink, L. (2003). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning .Retrieved from http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf

Week Four- LA#3


The KwikReader course that I am working through has some elements of both the ADDIE and the Dee Fink models. It also utilizes the steps in Gagne’s nine events of instruction. The program used the first step in the ADDIE model- Analysis — This phase involves clarifying the instructional problem, establishing the instructional goals and objectives, and identifying the learning environment and the learner’s existing knowledge and skills (Bates, 2015). The program has done a great job of using analysis to target the learning population likely to be interested in this course; they have employed the concept to assess learners’ prior knowledge and characteristics (Bates, 205). This analytic foundation has provided an approach focusing on a very narrow learning outcome and then building on how to ensure the learner can meet that outcome. Due to this focused analytical framework, the design is also focused and follows the “D” in the ADDIE instructional design model by using the data gathered by the first phase to design a course that has specific course material unique to the course and that supports the learner to meet the learning outcomes successfully. This course also relies heavily on Gagne’s theory by grabbing the learners’ attention, summarizing course goals, linking previous knowledge to new skills/knowledge learned, and teaching the lessons in segments that allow the learners to practice and measure success as they go along (Arshaskiy, 2016).

I suspect this design model was chosen for its simplicity and because it is a proven method for designing content with clear learning objectives that align with structured content (Bates, 2015). The KwikReader program has many associated learning programs, and using the ADDIE method probably made it easier to develop other programs using a “cookie cutter” type approach to the design. The ADDIE model is a valuable tool to support the management and production of courses with the same quality or standards (Bates, 2015).

The KwikReader program is a bit “gimmicky” and might put some people off because of a definite “sales pitchy” vibe. Still, it follows good course design theory, and there are many current subscribers, so I think the designers have done their job well.

Arshavskiy, M. (2016). Leveraging Gagné’s nine events of instruction . Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/leveraging-gagnes-nine-events-of-instruction

Bates, A.W. (2015). The ADDIE model. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/6-5-the-addie-model/ CC BY-NC 4.0


Week Three – LA #6

My background is in MH and I am interested in creating an online learning experience that would teach about neurobiology and how bilateral stimulation helps to rewire the anxious brain.

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can cause feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear. It can interfere with everyday activities and relationships, and it can lead to a variety of physical symptoms, such as headaches, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping.

Traditional treatments for anxiety include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. However, these treatments are not always effective for everyone, especially youth who often have trouble with talk therapy due to their neuro-developmental stage.

Bilateral stimulation is not a completely new treatment for anxiety, but it is not completely mainstream either; it is, however, showing promising results. Bilateral stimulation involves using various forms of stimulation, from tapping, eye movement or electrical stimulation, to activate the brain.

Using the cognitivism and connectivism learning theories we have looked at this week would support this learning experience as the participants can work together, learn new ways to think about the subject and we can use hands-on tapping techniques to learn a new skill.

Week One Assessment #1 Online Course Audit

I have chosen to take a speed reading course. I have been interested in the topic of speed reading for a while and have chosen to pay for and participate in the KwikReader course. I am hoping to improve my reading skills and I am interested in the delivery and format of this type of online learning course.