Strengthening Communities of Inquiry Online and Offline: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Including Service-Learning in a Fully Online Women’s Global Health Course

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Online learning is no longer novel in higher education. Decades of research have proven it to be an effective modality for learning when designed and facilitated well to students who are ready and supported to participate in this type of instruction. With demand increasing for online and blended course and program offerings, faculty and practitioners who work in health education and promotion are pressed to adopt new paradigms of teaching and course development that engage the learner and cover professional competencies (many skills-based). While service-learning has become an integral facet of higher education, embraced by many disciplines for its positive influence on student learning and community, service-learning and community-based projects are not commonly part of online learning. Working in and with communities provides students opportunities to experience transformative moments that help them not only develop academically and professionally but also lead to increased social consciousness about the world around them. There is a need for empirical studies that explore the integration of service-learning in fully online health promotion courses. This article presents findings and lessons learned from a pilot project that explored the impact of service-learning on community of inquiry measures (e.g., cognitive presence, teacher presence, and social presence). The authors introduce a new online course model in health promotion that includes service-learning or other forms of community engagement.

    loading  Loading Related Articles