Topic Progress:

This activity will require a little bit of work in WordPress, but if you follow the instructions below, it should be relatively accessible.


  1. Hover your cursor over ‘Posts’ and choose ‘Categories’.Self-Coding 1
  2. Create a new category by completing the required fields as below.Self-Coding 2
  3. Create a new sub-category, as below. Make sure that the ‘Parent’ is ‘Critical Inquiry’.Self-Coding 3
  4. Create three more sub-categories for ‘Exploration’, ‘Integration’, and ‘Resolution’, so that you end up with a category list like below.Self-Coding 4

Install a Plugin

The next thing you will need is a plugin called ‘Category Posts Widget’. If your blog is hosted at, the plugin is already installed but may need to be activated. If your blog is not on olblogs, you can install the plugin by clicking ‘Plugins’ then ‘Add New’, search for ‘Category Posts Widget’, and follow the installation instructions.

Add Some Widgets

Hover over ‘Appearance’ and click on ‘Widgets’.

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Drag the ‘Category Posts’ widget to your sidebar or footer.

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Give the widget a title, set the widget to display all posts from the sub-category ‘Triggering Event’, and click ‘Save’.

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Self-Coding Activity

Now that you have your category structure in place, click ‘Posts’ then ‘All Posts’ to display all posts from your blog. Choose your most recent post for this course, hover your cursor over the title of the post and choose ‘Quick Edit’.

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The ‘Quick Edit’ view allows you to apply categories to posts using the checkboxes provided, and then clicking ‘Update’.


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Please categorize (code) each of your posts according to which phase of the critical inquiry model is demonstrated by that particular post. It could be that any given post fits into more than one category, in which case, apply both categories. The characteristics of each phase of the critical inquiry model are below (adapted from Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes, and Garrison, 2011, pp. 75-76).

  • Triggering Event
    • This phase initiates the inquiry process through a well-thought-out activity to ensure full engagement and buy-in from the students. This has positive outcomes in terms of involving students, assessing the state of knowledge, and generating unintended but constructive ideas.
  • Exploration
    • This phase focuses first on understanding the nature of the problem and then searching for relevant information and possible explanations.
  • Integration
    • This phase moves into a more focused and structured phase of constructing meaning. Decisions are made about the integration of ideas and how order can be created parsimoniously.
  • Resolution
    • This phase is the resolution of the dilemma or problem, whether that is by reducing complexity y constructing a meaningful framework or discovering a contextually specific solution. this confirmation or testing phase may be accomplished by direct or vicarious action.


Once you have completed categorising your posts, you will be able to see a list of the posts that were categorised in each of the widgets that you added to your sidebar. Scan through the posts that  fall into each of the categories and write your thoughts about the cognitive strategies that you used during the course.

  • Did you engage in each of the phases of the critical inquiry process?
  • Were you able to resolve any problems or dilemmas?
  • What might you do differently in a future course?
  • How might you engage with your students to ensure that they are working through the entire inquiry process?
  • Do you think that working through this course in an open platform like WordPress helps to encourage reflective learning?

Remember to add this post to the ‘otl301’ category and tag it as ‘Post 5’.