This paper presents a pedagogical model that emerged during the design of an online Masters programme developed with the support of funding from the Erasmus multilateral programme. The authors are experienced in both the development and implementation of online learning, particularly values-based learning approaches in higher education, and are deeply committed to building alternate theoretical models that stimulate thinking about values-based learning within an online context. This pedagogical model thus represents an alternative theoretical resource for thinking about the role of ethical-values in learning. Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2000) Community of Inquiry Framework has been re-conceptualised and a new pedagogical model, titled the “Ethical-values Pedagogical Model”, has emerged. This model posits that a positive ethical-values presence is critical to sustaining teaching, social and cognitive presences and thus the lynchpin for the enablement of appropriate and meaningful cognitive experiences. The ethical-values bases of learners and educators effectively filter the way in which the cognitive experience is created and the manner in which the individual learner makes sense and/or constructs meaning within the learning environment. As such, the ethical-values bases of participants impact significantly on the teaching, social and cognitive presences within the learning environment. The presence of ethical-values that foster authentic, democratic and transformative learning experiences for the individual learner, communities of learners and educators is critical to the success of this Ethical-values Pedagogical Model.
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