A Community of Inquiry approach to learning design in a community-engaged learning program


  • Brahm Marjadi
  • Kashmira Dave
  • Glenn Mason




Medicine in Context (MiC), Community of Inquiry framework, blended learning


The Medicine in Context (MiC) program is the flagship community-engaged learning and teaching program at the Western Sydney University School of Medicine. MiC students attend placements at community organisations, General Practice clinics and face-to-face tutorials and lectures for two fiveweek blocks. Responding to students’ lack of engagement and preference for more flexible delivery modes, a blended learning approach using the Community of Inquiry framework to guide the design has been gradually introduced since 2014. The MiC webpage was revised to simplify access to key information and resources. Five lectures were transformed into online modules and one workshop was converted into a flipped classroom. Multi-media open educational resources were added to replace some reading materials. Online “Weekly Study Guide” scaffolds, paces and aligns students’ self-directed learning with MiC learning outcomes. Moving program evaluation and some assessments to an online platform enables more timely feedback. These developments have resulted in novel, engaging learning activities. Preliminary evaluation indicates students’ greater engagement with the MiC program and deeper levels of learning indicated by increased levels of reflection and the demonstration of MiC learning outcomes being satisfied.






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