The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that asynchronous online learning can create a rich cognitive presence capable of supporting effective, higher-order learning. It begins by exploring the properties of asynchronous online learning and their link with the dimensions of higher-order learning. The dimensions of higher-order learning emerge from the concepts of reflective inquiry, self-direction and metacognition. Moreover, it is argued that the dimensions of higher-order learning, reflection and collaboration, are, in fact, congruent with the asynchronous and connectivity properties of online learning. Finally, the issues and principles of effective asynchronous online learning are explored.
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