In my initial search for information, I have been trying to pull together a framework for understanding online learning as a method for preparing educational leaders, not just as a method of generating revenue or of catering to convenience. This is a trap, I believe, in which discussions of online learning are frequently caught. The legitimacy of online learning will come from its unique affordances as a preferred approach, not from its adequacy as a substitute for a preferred approach. To that end, I have three frameworks to organize my learning—one based on external demands of educational leadership preparation programs, one based on internal characteristics, and one based on the nature of program design. Only the last framework (Community of Inquiry) is specifically intended for online programs. The other two are for educational leadership programs generally, from fully face-to-face to fully online.
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Garrison, D. R, Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2010). The first decade of the community of inquiry framework: A retrospective. Internet and Higher Education, 13, 5–9.
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