Digital empowerment: exploring how fully online learning communities support digital competency development
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This research investigates the digital competence and experiences of faculty participating in a fully online professional learning initiative, Ontario Extend. This learning initiative is described as a form of Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC), a refinement of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model. Six college faculty who had completed Ontario Extend were recruited, and completed the Digital Competency Profiler (DCP) (Hunter et al., 2018). From this, an aggregated profile was developed of the digital competence reported across technical, social, informational and epistemological orders. Results are discussed. In a follow up focus group, faculty reported perceptions that the learning initiative boosted their confidence, gave them frameworks to use to support decisionmaking, increased their iterative behaviours, and affected their pedagogical intentions. Further implications for research are discussed.