Choosing a Model


STEP 1: Now that you have a better understanding of each facilitation model, you need to choose one that speaks to you to guide you in the design of your activity. Use the guiding question(s) below to help you as you move through the rest of the module. Consider answering the following question(s) for yourself depending on which model you choose.

Summary of each online facilitation model

Community of Inquiry

“…defined as a process model of online learning, it emphasise [sic] the importance of developing a community of learners, who through collaboration and connectivity, are able to create sustain higher order processes of learning. It seeks not only to establish this integral online learning community of students, but to embed the pursuit of inquiry into online learning. In order to create this, the CoI frame work identifies three key overlapping areas that are integral components of learning design for applying the model. These key elements are known as Social Presence, Cognitive Presence and Teaching Presence” (Wright, 2015, p. 20).

Salmon’s Five Stage Model

“The 5-Stage Model (Salmon, 2011) is a strategic approach to structuring course content and interaction, around the basis of a natural stage-by-stage progression the e-learner is likely to go through in online learning. The model provides the course designer a scaffold in which to organise course content and structure, with the integration of specific stage appropriate e-tivities, to meet the individual online pedagogy needs of the learner. This links directly to providing a valid strategy for meeting learner satisfaction in Course Structure and Organisation factors” (Wright, 2015, p. 19).

If you choose the Community of Inquiry Framework… 

Question #1:

Learning environments that are learner-centred, content-centred, community-centred, and assessment-centred do not necessarily provide quality experiences, so what else needs to be added to this mix to lead learners towards experiences that have great impact? (Clint Lalonde, 2017)

If you choose Salmon’s Five Stage Model…

Question #2

How do these elements ensure quality learning experiences? What does quality mean in this case? (Clint Lalonde, 2017).

What do you want to do with your students?


STEP 2: Now you need to decide what you want to do and how you want to work with your students (eg. I want my students to work in teams to analyze a case study.) To do this, visit these two websites 1: University of Illinois Springfield (**skip to instructional strategies section) 2: McGill University to explore a variety of instructional strategies. Choose one to two instructional strategies to design your activity.

At this stage, you should have chosen one to two instructional strategies to design your activity. You should have your objectives (what your students will learn) and learning outcomes (what your students should be able to do) written as well. SEE: Crafting Course Outcomes 

As you create your activity/lesson plan consider the following guiding questions:

  • What are the specific steps you will take to facilitate the activity/lesson?
  • How does your activity align with your learning outcome(s)?
  • What portions of your lesson will be hosted synchronously or asynchronously?


Activity/Lesson acceptable submission formats:

Written, PowerPoint or video


STEP 3: Now that you have decided which model you will use to create your online activity, use the additional guiding questions below to guide your planning.


Guiding Questions

If you chose the Community of Inquiry framework

Social Presence

  1. Will students work individually or collaboratively?
  2. Will student choose their own groups, or will groups be assigned?
  3. How will students get to know one another and develop trust?
  4. How will you create a safe space for students to share their ideas?

Cognitive Presence

  1. How will students be expected to process the lesson information?
  2. How will students demonstrate an understanding of the lesson information?

Teacher Presence

  1. How will you build trust with your students?
  2. How will you make yourself available to your students?
  3. How will you demonstrate teacher’s presence online?
  4. How will you structure your learning environment and activity, so as to support your learners?
  5. How will you teach your learners how to access and use relevant technologies?

Guiding Questions

If you chose Salmon’s Five Stage model

  1. How will you ensure accessibility to all learners?
  2. How will you motivate your students?
  3. How will you encourage socialization among you and your learners?
  4. How will you scaffold your activity?
  5. How will you support knowledge construction?
  6. How will you communicate with your learners?
  7. How will you communicate and support technology use?
  8. How will you gage knowledge retention?


Note: Depending on which model you choose, it is not necessary to answer every guiding question; however, your activity will be better planned if you are able to.





STEP 1: Write a final reflective post in this module discussion forum describing how you have utilized the your chosen online facilitation model.


Lalonde, C. 2017. LRNT 505: Community building processes for online learning environments: Winter 2017 [Course lecture]. Retrieved from

Wright, P. (2015). Comparing e-tivities, e-moderation and the five stage model to the community of inquiry model for online learning design. The Online Journal of Distance Education and e-Learning, 3(2), p. 17-30. Retrieved from to inform your understanding of the Community of Inquiry Model and Gilly Salmon’s Five Stage Model that comprise of this module.


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Fit for Online Learning Copyright © 2020 by U of L Teaching Centre: Jördis Weilandt, Erin Reid, Kristi Thomas, Brandy Old, and Jeff Meadows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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