CoI Papers

Kovanović V., Joksimović S., Poquet O., Hennis T., Čukić I., de Vries P., Hatala M., Dawson S., Siemens G., & Gašević D. (2017). Exploring communities of inquiry in Massive Open Online Courses. Computers & Education, Retrieved November 28, 2017 from:

This study presents an evaluation of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument developed by Arbaugh et al. (2008) within the context of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The study reports the results of a reliability analysis and exploratory factor analysis of the CoI survey instrument using the data of 1487 students from five MOOC courses. The findings confirmed the reliability and validity of the CoI survey instrument for the assessment of the key dimensions of the CoI model: teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence. Although the CoI survey instrument captured the same latent constructs within the MOOC context as in the Garrison’s three-factor model (Garrison et al., 1999), analyses suggested a six-factor model with additional three factors as a better fit to the data. These additional factors were 1) course organization and design (a sub-component of teaching presence), 2) group affectivity (a sub-component of social presence), and 3) resolution phase of inquiry learning (a sub-component of cognitive presence). The emergence of these additional factors revealed that the discrepancies between the dynamics of the traditional online courses and MOOCs affect the student perceptions of the three CoI presences. Based on the results of our analysis, we provide an update to the famous CoI model which captures the distinctive characteristics of the CoI model within the MOOC setting. The results of the study and their implications are further discussed.

Kozan, K. (2016). A comparative structural equation modeling investigation of the relationships among teaching, cognitive and social presence. Online Learning, 20(3), 210 – 227.

The present study investigated the relationships among teaching, cognitive, and social presence through several structural equation models to see which model would better fit the data. To this end, the present study employed and compared several different structural equation models because different models could fit the data equally well. Among the models compared, the results indicated that the model with cognitive presence as a full mediator and the model with social presence as a partial mediator could achieve an equally satisfactory data fit. This conclusion may depend on the level of the presences: The present results indicated a statistically higher level of teaching presence than cognitive and social presence as well as a statistically higher level of cognitive presence compared to social presence. The results further suggested that teaching presence could either have a direct or indirect relationship with cognitive presence thereby increasing it without or with social presence as a mediator between teaching and cognitive presence. The results further suggested that teaching presence efforts spent on increasing cognitive presence can function directly, which may also promote social presence, and indirectly through social presence. Further research comparing different possible structural equation models of the relationships among the presences in different learning contexts is warranted.

Kozan, K., & Richardson, J. C. (2014). New exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis insights into the community of inquiry survey. The Internet and Higher Education, 23, 39-47.

This study has the aim of investigating the factor structure of an adapted version of the Community of Inquiry survey developed by Arbaugh et al. (2008). For this purpose, both exploratory and confirmatory analyses were employed in addition to a parallel analysis using two different samples. The results indicated a three-factor structure as well as high reliability indices for each subpart of the survey. More specifically, the three factors identified appear to correspond to three presences: teaching, cognitive, and social presences. Moreover, results of the study did not reveal any substantial changes that need to be made to any survey items. All these align completely with the theoretical assumptions of the Community of Inquiry Framework (e.g., Garrison & Akyol, 2013a, b), and call for further factor analytic studies on the survey.

Ma, Z., Wang, J., Wang, Q, Kong, L., Wu, Y., & Yang, H. (2016). Verifying causal relationships among the presences of the Community of Inquiry framework in the Chinese context. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(6), 213-230.

The purpose of this study was to verify a Chinese version of Community of Inquiry (CoI) instrument with learning presence and explore the causal relationships of the factors in the instrument. This study first examined the reliability and validity of the instrument. All four presences had acceptable levels of reliability (all Cronbach’s α> .765 or higher). The confirmatory factor modeling approach was used to assess its validity. Then, the study used path analysis and regression analysis to explore the causal relationships of the presences. The key findings showed that teaching and social presences directly influenced the perceptions of learning presence. Learning presence was a partial mediating variable of interactional relationship within CoI constructs.

Maddrell, J. A., Morrison, G. R., & Watson, G. S. (2017). Presence and learning in a community of inquiry. Distance Education, Retrieved June 10, 2017 from:

Peacock, S. & Cowan, J. (2016). From presences to linked influences within the communities of inquiry. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5), 267-283.

Much research has identified and confirmed the core elements of the well-known Community of Inquiry Framework (CoIF): Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence (Garrison, 2011). The overlap of these Presences, their definitions and roles, and their subsequent impact on the educational experience, has received less attention. This article is prompted by the acceptance of that omission (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2010). It proposes enrichment to the Framework, by entitling the overlapping spaces uniting pairs of Presences as “Influences.”  These three spaces, linking pairings of Social, Teaching, and Cognitive Presences, can be labelled as “trusting,” “meaning-making,” and “deepening understanding.” Their contribution to the educational experience is to address constructively some of the challenges of online learning, including learner isolation, limited learner experience of collaborative group work and underdeveloped higher-level abilities. For these purposes we also envisage “cognitive maps” as supporting learners to assess progress to date and identify pathways forward (Garrison & Akyol, 2013). Such maps, developed by a course team, describe the territory that learners may wish to explore, signpost possible activities, and encourage the development of cognitive and interpersonal abilities required for online learning.    We hope that considering the Influences may also assist tutor conceptualisations of online community-based learning. Our proposals call on both learners and tutors to conceive of the Presences and Influences as working together, in unison, to enhance the educational experience whilst fostering deep learning. Our suggestions are presented to stimulate scholarly debate about the potential of these interwoven sections, constructively extending the Framework.

Yang, J. C., Quadir, B., Chen, N-S. & Miao, Q. (2016). Effects of online presence on learning performance in a blog-based online course. Internet and Higher Education, 30, 11-20.

This study investigated how learners’ perceived online presence contributed to their learning performance while participating in a blog-based university course. Although the literature evidently highlights that there is a necessity for online presence in online courses, concrete design approaches and empirical evaluation of the impact of online presence on learning performance in blog-based courses are lacking. An empirical study was therefore conducted to understand the relationship between individuals’ perceptions of online presence, in terms of teaching, social and cognitive presences, and their learning performance, in terms of subjective and objective learning outcomes. Research questions were tested and data were analyzed using regression analysis. The results indicate that online presence has a significant influence on learning performance. A subsequent analysis found that cognitive presence played the most important role in blog-based online learning performance. This study also identified a significant relationship in learning performance between students’ subjective and objective learning outcomes.

Feng, X., Xie, J., & Liu, Y. (2017). Using the Community of Inquiry Framework to Scaffold Online Tutoring. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(2). doi:

Tutoring involves providing learners with a suitable level of structure and guidance to support their learning. This study reports on an exploration of how to design such structure and guidance (i.e., learning scaffolds) in the Chinese online educational context, and in so doing, answer the following two questions: (a) What scaffolding strategies are needed to design online tutoring, and (b) How should different levels of scaffolding intensity be emphasized in different stages of online tutoring in such educational contexts? A model for online tutoring using the Community of Inquiry framework was developed and implemented in this study. It focused attention on both the critical role of the tutor in online learning and the importance of scaffolding in online tutoring. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data, including questionnaires, interviews, and content analysis. In considering the variation of scaffolding throughout the online course, results showed that: (a) As long as a high degree of social presence is established in the initial phase, scaffolds for social presence can be withdrawn gradually throughout the course; (b) High-intensity teaching presence is much more important in the mid-phase of the course than in other phases; (c) “Discourse facilitation” should be emphasized for teaching presence in the mid-phase, while “direct instruction” scaffolding is needed in the last phase; and (d) The greatest need for scaffolding of cognitive presence occurs in the final phase of the course.

Chen, B., deNoyelles, A., Zydney, J., & Patton, K. (2017). Creating a Community of Inquiry in large-enrollment online courses: An exploratory study on the effect of protocols within online discussions. Online Learning, 21(1), 165-188.

It can be difficult to foster focused and effective communication in online discussions within large classes. Implementing protocols is a strategy that may help students communicate more effectively, facilitate their learning process, and improve the quality of their work within online discussions. In this exploratory research study, a protocol was developed and improved over two iterations in a very large undergraduate video-streaming business course (N1=412; N2=450). The discussion instructions were consolidated and adjusted, and design elements such as a grading rubric, exemplary student samples, and due date reminders were added in the second iteration. There were higher perceptions of social, cognitive, and teaching presences in the second iteration, as well as significantly more group cognition within the discussion measured through a Community of Inquiry coding template. Findings suggest that protocols are a potentially useful strategy to manage online discussions in large classes.

Olpak, Y. Z., Yağci, M. & Başarmak, U. (2016). Determination of perception of community of inquiry. Educational Research and Reviews, 11(12), 1085-1092.

Community of inquiry (CoI) is the conceptual framework which describes critical prerequisite factors for deep and meaningful learning in online learning environments. Based on the literature concerning the CoI framework, it can be observed that studies in which three factors in the model (cognitive, social and teaching presence) were investigated have been increased as scales to determine perception towards CoI have been developed, which thus made it possible to work on relatively larger sampling groups effectively and to increase generalizability of findings. In this context, within the scope of the present research, by investigating different data collection tools developed by different researchers, studies aiming to determine CoI perception by means of a scale were investigated in detail. Research results reveals that CoI survey instrument developed by Arbaugh et al. (2008) has been widely accepted in the literature; and that the instrument has been adapted to number of languages such as Turkish, Korean and Arabic; and employed in diverse disciplines such as education, business and health care.

Peacock, S. & Cowan, J. (2016). From presences to linked influences within the communities of inquiry. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5), 267-283.

Kozan, K. (2016). A comparative structural equation modeling investigation of the relationships among teaching, cognitive and social presence. Online Learning, 20(3), 210 – 227

Kozan, K. (2016). The incremental predictive validity of teaching, cognitive and social presence on cognitive load. The Internet and Higher Education, 31, 11-19.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictive validity of teaching, cognitive and social presence from a cognitive load perspective when perceived learning satisfaction was under control. To serve this purpose, this study included hierarchical multiple regression analyses run on data collected in a fully online graduate program. The results indicated that the presences could statistically significantly predict intrinsic, extraneous, and total loads with a small effect size. Individually, cognitive presence turned out to be the best predictor of intrinsic load while teaching presence was the best predictor of extraneous and total loads. Even though social presence was not a best predictor on its own, it contributed to the presences prediction of cognitive load as a group. As a result, all these findings pointed to a small-size predictive power of the presences on cognitive load thereby providing evidence for their incremental predictive validity and the importance of perceived learning satisfaction.

Yang, J. C., Quadir, B., Chen, N-S. & Miao, Q. (2016). Effects of online presence on learning performance in a blog-based online course. Internet and Higher Education, 30, 11-20. 

Beran, T., Drefs, M., Kaba, A., Al Baz, N., & Al Harbi, N. (2015). Conformity of responses among graduate students in an online environment. Internet and Higher Education, 25, 63-69.

Parker, J., & Herrington, J. (2015). Setting the climate in an authentic online community of learning. Australia Association for Research in Education Conference, 1-12.

The growth of online learning and the demand for quality education has prompted universities to investigate innovative approaches for providing students with a more interactive, engaging and authentic learning experience. Frameworks such as Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2001) community of inquiry (CoI) model have been widely used in the design of learning tasks and communities of learning to address this challenge. In this paper, the key elements of the CoI model are explained—the cognitive, social and teaching aspects—together with a brief look at the intersecting areas of these elements. Of particular interest in this paper was the intersection of social and teaching presence, because of its capacity to contribute to setting climate in an online learning environment. A systematic analysis of recent studies focusing on key elements of the CoI model is reported, and characteristics for setting the climate in an online environment to assist the development of a community of inquiry are identified, together with guidelines to assist with the implementation. Finally, an authentic online professional development course for higher education professionals is described to illustrate the guidelines in practice.

Szeto, E. (2015). Community of Inquiry as an instructional approach: What effects of teaching, social and cognitive presences are there in blended synchronous learning and teaching? Computers & Education, 81, 191-201.

Little research has been conducted to integrate teaching, social and cognitive presences as three instructional components of an instructional approach to contextualizing blended synchronous learning and teaching experiences. This qualitative case study reports the use of a community of inquiry instructional approach to exploring the effects of the presences on shaping the experiences of online and face-to-face students and their instructor. The students and instructor interviews, video recordings and class observations over an entire engineering drawing course were collected for data analysis with the use of a coding scheme derived from the presences. The findings revealed that attainment of the intended learning outcomes relied more on the teaching presence than on the social and cognitive presences of the approach. The instructor’s performance could bring about a leadership role of teaching presence as being more important than the social and cognitive presences in the engineering course. However, the instructional effects of the teaching, social and cognitive presences contributing to the blended synchronous learning and teaching mode were situational and context specific. Implications for further research are discussed.

Yu, T., & Richardson, J. C. (2015). Examining reliability and validity of a Korean version of the Community of Inquiry instrument using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The Internet and Higher Education, 25, 45-52.

This study examines the reliability and validity of a Korean version of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) instrument for online learning. The measurement consists of 34 items to evaluate social, teaching, and cognitive presence and was translated from English into Korean for this study. A Cyber University in Seoul, Korea was selected for this study. Data were randomly split into two groups. Three factor-structures of the CoI framework explained 63.82% of the variance in the pattern of relationships among the items using the first split-half sample. All three presences had high reliabilities (all Cronbach’s α > .913 or higher). The three-factor structure of the CoI framework with social, teaching, and cognitive presences confirms the validity of the Korean version of the CoI measurement by deleting two items which cross-loaded on multiple factors. Confirmatory factor modeling approach was used to assess the validity of the Korean version using the remaining half sample.

Clarke, L. W., & Bartholomew, A. (2014). Digging Beneath the Surface: Analyzing the Complexity of Instructors’ Participation in Asynchronous Discussion. Online Learning-Formerly The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 18(3).

This study is situated at the nexus of contradictory research about the role of the instructor in asynchronous discussions. The goal of this descriptive study was to provide a deeper analysis of instructor comments and participation in these discussions. By developing an analytical tool based on the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001) we categorized the types of comments made by instructors as well as identified more complex profiles of instructor interaction. In addition, we looked at student and instructor data around instructor participation in these discussions. We found that instructors relied more heavily on social codes and were less likely to employ cognitive codes, that there was a variance in the types of discursive interactions as indicated by different discursive profiles, and that it is difficult for instructors to find the right balance of participation in asynchronous discussions. We believe engaging in this type of analysis can help us become more effective online instructors and provide a good next step for some larger relationship studies to further understand how the instructors’ comments do impact student discussion.

Pellas, N., Peroutseas, E., & Kazanidis, I. (2013). Virtual communities of inquiry (VCoI) for learning basic algorithmic structures with open simulator and Scratch4OS: a case study from the secondary education in Greece. In Proceedings of the 6th Balkan conference in informatics (pp. 187–194). ACM.

The rapid penetration of “open source” virtual worlds (VWs) on the configuration and development of three-dimensional (3D) multi-user virtual platforms, in conjunction with interfaces of two-dimensional (2D) educational environments to learn novice users basic algorithmic structures were currently the central axis that exposed for investigation in our study. Notwithstanding the radical restructuring of instructional formats with VWs, like Open Simulator (Open Sim); however the disambiguation of students’ presence indicators which are positively correlated to their meaningful engagement in Computer Science courses in a virtual community of inquiry (VCoI) is still lacking. In fact, for the requirements of these courses we had configured specific collaborative virtual areas in order to be explored and utilized from students a variety of non-uniform geometric solids from Open Sim and to be constructed a 3D (assembled) “mind trap” puzzle. Alongside, each piece of this puzzle was programmed according to a specific serial sequence with Scratch for Open Sim (Scratch4OS). The current case study seeks to present firstly a valuable framework for the implementation of the teaching and learning process in a VW, and subsequently the results from linear correlations between the cognitive, social and teaching presence of a VCoI from eighty-one (81) students of the Greek Secondary Education. The study findings indicated that the social presence (communication and cohesiveness of a group) don’t only have a direct correlation with the cognitive presence (learning process for the construction of knowledge), but also has a positive association with the teaching presence (organization, planning and guidance of learning activities in the 3D space), and compulsory reinforced both of them. The added value of this study highlights the fundamental issues of the cooperation, socialization, retention and attendance rates between members of a VCoI which avouch multiple dimensions encircle or empower students’ managerial and learning responsibilities based on the affordances that a 3D technology-enhanced environment can replicate.

Pellas, N., & Kazanidis, I. (2014). The impact of computer self-efficacy, situational interest and academic self-concept in virtual communities of inquiry during the distance learning procedures through Second Life. World Wide Web, 1–28.

The current study investigates a case where the online learning procedure in three dimensional (3D) technologically-advanced environments of the Web 2.0 is growing at an exponential rate. In this occasion it is highly imperative need to understand students’ interactions in this innovative mode of e-Education that requires from educators and scholars not only analysis conceptually, but also an empirically-driven optimization. The community of inquiry (CoI) model (or framework) consists to be as one of the most prominent multi-dimensional constructs that it is widely used to represent several distinct dimensions of social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence, as a unique and fundamental theoretical concept to measure students’ interactions in contemporary electronic environments. Although, the effectiveness of these multi-dimensional constructs creates a dilemma to researchers who want the breadth and comprehensiveness of this model for the precision and clarity of users’ (instructors and students) dimensions with other motivational and learning variables. To address this dilemma, the current empirical study presents statistical analyses from the “trinity” constructs of the CoI model by utilizing correlation and hierarchical regression analyses with two fundamental motivational (computer self-efficacy and situational interest) and another one learning (academic self-concept) variables. This study goes one step further and introduces the conspicuously indisputable intervention of a virtual (V) CoI and its utilization in multi-user virtual worlds, like Second Life (SL). The study findings of one hundred thirty-five (135) participants who enrolled in several online sessions unveiled that the situational interest was the only significant predictor of social presence. The computer self-efficacy was not a significant predictor of the CoI model, while on the other hand academic self-concept was a significant predictor in a revamped attempt to validate the strong relationship among constructs within it. According to the aforementioned reasons, it can be surmised that the successful combination of the VCoI in Second Life, surpassing irrefutable and inherent shortcomings to a future-driven sustainable use and growth.

Zydney, J.M., deNoyelles, A., Seo, K. (2012). Creating a community of inquiry in online environments: An exploratory study on the effect of protocols on interactions within asynchronous discussions. *Computers & Education, 58*(1)*, *77-87.

The purpose of our research was to examine the influence of an online protocol on asynchronous discussions. A mixed-methods study compared two online graduate classes: one that used a protocol and one that did not use a protocol for the same discussion about a complex reading. Analysis of the data revealed that the online protocol more evenly distributed the presence of cognitive, social, and teaching elements necessary to create and sustain an online community of inquiry. Use of the protocol also promoted more shared group cognition and more student ownership of the discussion and empowered students to facilitate themselves, helping to reduce the instructor workload. These findings may enable educators to provide more dynamic interaction and richer learning experiences in asynchronous online environments.
Kozan, K., & Richardson, J. C. (n.d.). Interrelationships between and among Social, Teaching and Cognitive Presence. The Internet and Higher Education. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2013.10.007
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships between and among teaching, social and cognitive presences. To this end, Spearman`s rank correlation and partial correlation analyses were employed. The results referred to: (a) Positive large bivariate correlational relationships between presence types; (b) The dependence of these pair-wise relationships on the third presence to a certain extent. For instance, it was found that cognitive presence may have a strong effect on the relationship between teaching presence and social presence since the relationship between teaching presence and social presence may disappear when cognitive presence is controlled for. On the other hand, results also suggested that the relationship between cognitive presence and social presence, and the relationship between teaching presence and cognitive presence may be independent of the effect of the other third presence largely.
Lafuente, M., Remesal, A., & Álvarez Valdivia, I. M. (2013). Assisting learning in e-assessment: a closer look at educational supports. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, (ahead-of-print), 1–18. DOI:10.1080/02602938.2013.848835  Retrieved from

This study analyses the educational support offered through information and communication technology during formative assessment in two different cases in higher education. We analysed one blended and one virtual case from two different universities. The study aimed at identifying specific patterns of educational support intended to foster two interaction processes: (1) the promotion of greater autonomy in the students and (2) the construction of more appropriate meanings by them. The analysis showed that these two processes were achieved with different attainment levels in each of the two study cases. Specific patterns of support mediated by technology were found underlying these different results. This led us to identify ‘suitable’ and ‘undesirable’ patterns of support in e-assessment practices.

Lambert, J. L., & Fisher, Juenethia, L. (2013). Community of Inquiry framework: Establishing community in an online course. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 12(1), 1–16. Retrieved from

Using the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, the author conducted a mixed method research study to examine the existence of the three CoI elements in a graduate-level educational technology online course. The author also looked at student perceptions and preference for community in online learning. High mean scores on the CoI showed that all three elements of CoI were more than adequately addressed in the course, particularly teaching presence. Lowest scores indicated that some students were uncomfortable expressing themselves in an online environment and felt a lack of freedom to disagree with class members. Demographic data showed that students preferred a sense of community but were not so fond of collaborative assignments that are essential for building the community they desire. Since collaborative assignments demand a greater degree of communication and ability to bring problems to an adequate resolution, it is plausible that inhibitions in expressing oneself may become more pronounced when more collaboration is required.

York, C.S. & Richardson, J.C. (2012). Interpersonal Interaction in Online Learning: Experienced Online Instructors’ Perceptions of Influencing Factors. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 81-96.

A multitude of factors influence interpersonal interaction between students and instructors in an online course. This study examines perceptions of six experienced online instructors to determine factors they believe increase interaction among their students and between the students and instructor of online courses. The end result is an inventory of strategies that can be used by novice and experienced online instructors alike to impact interpersonal interaction in online courses. Factors include group work, course environment, model use, community, discussion question type and assessment, feedback type and medium, immediacy behaviors, discourse guidelines, and instructor participation.

Gorsky, P., Caspi, A. & Blau, I. (2012). A Comparison of Non-Mandatory Online Dialogic Behavior in Two Higher Education Blended Environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 55-69.

This study compares dialogic behavior in asynchronous course forums from blended learning environments with non-mandatory student participation at a campus-based college and at a distance education, Open University. The goal is to document similarities and differences in students’ and instructors’ dialogic behavior that occur in two similar instructional resources used in two dissimilar learning environments. Quantitative content analysis, derived from the “Community of Inquiry” model, was performed on a year-long course forum from the college. These data were compared with composite data obtained previously from 50 Open University course forums. Findings showed that the dialogic behavior in the college forum differed greatly from the dialogic behavior exhibited in distance education forums. Specifically, the frequencies of “social presence”, “teaching presence” and “cognitive presence” in the forums differed significantly. However, high frequencies of social presence coupled with low frequencies of cognitive presence at both institutions raise doubts regarding the popular assumption that deep and meaningful learning occurs in asynchronous course forums.

Morris, T.A. (2011). Exploring community college student perceptions of online learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, 8(6).

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore community college student perceptions of online learning within the theoretical construct of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model, which describes the manner in which the elements of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence interact to create an educational experience. An online questionnaire, interviews, and artifact reviews were employed in the study. Interpretive analysis was utilized to identify themes and provide insights into student perceptions of satisfaction and success with online learning. The findings of the study revealed aspects of community college student perceptions about online courses, related these perceptions to the social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence components of the Community of Inquiry model, and provided examples of successful instructional design and course facilitation techniques utilized in the online courses. The study findings provided insights about student perceptions related to communication and interaction, isolation, preferred course activities, and the positive impact of prompt and helpful instructor feedback. Recommendations for practical applications by instructional designers and instructors are provided.

Joo, Y.J., Lim, K.Y. & Kim, E.K. (2011). Online university students’ satisfaction and persistence: Examining perceived level of presence, usefulness and ease of use as predictors in a structural model. Computers & Education, 57, 1654–1664.

Learners’ satisfaction and persistence are considered critical success factors in online universities where all of the teaching and learning activities are carried out online. This study aims to investigate the structural relationships among perceived level of presence, perceived usefulness and ease of use of the online learning tools, learner satisfaction and persistence in an online university located in South Korea. The specific predictors were teaching presence, social presence, cognitive presence, and perceived usefulness and ease of use. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to provide cause-and-effect inferences. The study participants were 709 learners who enrolled in a Korean online university in 2009 and responded to online surveys. The results indicated that teaching presence, cognitive presence, and perceived usefulness and ease of use were significant predictors of learner satisfaction, which was found to be a significant mediator of predictors and persistence. The findings provided substantial implications for designing and implementing teaching and learning strategies in online university environments.

Kanuka, H. (2011). Interaction and the online distance classroom: Do instructional methods effect the quality of interaction?, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 23, 143-156.

In this special issue, I bring together two studies to provide a comprehensive overview on diverse and interactive instructional methods aimed to facilitate higher levels of learning. One study explored the effects of group interaction using different instructional strategies focusing on the learning process using the Community of Inquiry framework. The other study investigated the effects of group interaction using different instructional strategies focusing on learning products using the SOLO taxonomy. The outcomes of both studies were consistent in revealing that certain kinds of instructional strategies have more effective interactions, resulting in facilitating higher levels of learning.

Ice, P., Gibson, A.M., Boston, W. & Becher, D. (2011). An Exploration of Differences between Community of Indicators in Low and High Disenrollment Online Courses Journal of Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15(2).

Though online enrollments continue to accelerate at a rapid pace, there is significant concern over student retention. With drop rates significantly higher than in face-to-face classes it is imperative that online providers develop an understanding of factors that lead students to disenroll. This study utilizes a data mining approach to examine course-level disenrollment through the lens of student satisfaction with the projection of Teaching, Social and Cognitive Presence. In comparing the highest and lowest disenrollment quartiles of all courses at American Public University the value of effective Instructional Design and Organization, and initiation of the Triggering Event phase of Cognitive Presence were found to be significant predictors of student satisfaction in the lowest disenrollment quartile. For the highest disenrollment quartile, the lack of follow-through vis-à-vis Facilitation of Discourse and Cognitive Integration were found to be negative predictors of student satisfaction

Baber, T.C. (2011). The Online Crit: The Community of Inquiry Meets Design Education, The Journal of Distance Education, 25(1).

Asynchronous discussion technologies offer the advantage of providing time for reflection essential for higher order cognitive thinking. In the context of a ten-week graphic design foundations course in the Digital Graphic Design program at Vancouver Community College, this advantage provides an avenue for advancing critical discussion of design work. Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2000) Community of Inquiry (CoI) model is applied in tandem with the design process to develop a blended approach to the traditional critique. The appropriate alignment of curriculum and faculty and student interactions to the environments best suited is determined. Guiding principles and learning objectives and tasks are developed to support cognitive, social and teaching presences essential to foster critical discourse in asynchronous discussion environments.

Akyol, Z. & Vaughan, N. & Garrison, D.R. (2011). The impact of course duration on the development of a community of inquiry. Interactive Learning Environments, 19(3), 231-246.

This study investigated the effect of time on the development of a community of inquiry by examining an online course offered over two different time periods. The study was guided by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). The focus was on a graduate level education course, the topic of which was blended learning. The course was given by the same instructor in a 13 week fall semester and a 6 week spring term. Transcript analysis of weekly online discussions and the CoI Survey were used to explore the differences between the short-term and long-term version of this course in terms of each measure of CoI presence (social, teaching and cognitive presence). The findings showed differences between the short-term and long-term version of this course in terms of the development of each presence and students’ perceptions.

Ke, F. (2010). Examining online teaching, cognitive, and social presence for adult students, Computers & Education, 55(2), 808-820.

Drawing on the Community of Inquiry model (), this mixed-method case study examined the nature and interactions of teaching, cognitive, and social presence created by online instructors and adult students in diverse course contexts. The study results indicated online instructional design and teaching elements that are crucial prerequisites for a successful online higher educational experience for adult students. The study also informed e-learning designers on the relations between online teaching, cognitive, and social presence.

Gorsky, P., Caspi, A. Antonovsky, A., Blau, I. & Mansur, A. (2010). The Relationship between Academic Discipline and Dialogic Behavior in Open University Course Forums. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(2).

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between disciplinary difference (exact and natural sciences versus humanities) and the dialogic behavior that occurred in Open University course forums. Dialogic behavior was measured in terms of students’ and instructors’ active participation in the forum (posting a message) as well as amounts and proportions of “teaching presence”, “cognitive presence”, and “social presence”. We found that active participation in the science forums was much higher than in the humanities forums. We also found a ratio among the three presences that was constant across different academic disciplines, as well as across different group sizes and course types.

Jézégou, A. (2010). Community of Inquiry in E-learning: A Critical Analysis of the Garrison and Anderson Model. Journal of Distance Education, 24(3).

This article is based on a constructively critical analysis of the model of community of inquiry developed by Garrison and Anderson (2003) as part of a research conducted in the area of e-learning. The authors claim that certain collaborative interactions create “distant presence” fostering the emergence of a community of inquiry which has a positive influence on individual and collective learning. More specifically, the article points out that until now, the model’s theoretical foundations had not been made explicit and provides important insights concerning these epistemological considerations. It also suggests a number of theoretical perspectives which strengthen the authors’ presentation of the conceptual anchorings of the model. Thus the major contribution of this article is to show the potential of Garrison and Anderson’s model for the research in the field of e-learning.

Garrison, D.R. Cleveland-Innes, M. & Fung, T. (2010). Exploring causal relationships among cognitive, social and teaching presence: Student perceptions of the community of inquiry framework. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 31-36.

The causal relationships among the three presences in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework are explored and tested in this paper. The CoI framework has been used extensively in the research on and the practice of online and blended learning. With the development of a survey instrument based on the CoI framework, it is possible to test causal relationships among CoI presences. The research reported here tested two hypotheses: 1) that teaching and social presence have a significant perceived influence on cognitive presence, and 2) that teaching presence is perceived to influence social presence. The results of this study confirm the factor structure of the CoI survey and the causal relationships among the presences predicted by the CoI framework. These results point to the key role of teaching presence in establishing and sustaining a community of inquiry. Further research is called for to explore the dynamic relationships among the presences across disciplines and institutions as well as understand the existence and role of the specific sub-elements (categories) of each presence in the development of a community of inquiry.

Arbaugh, B., Bangert, A, & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2010) Subject matter effects and the community of inquiry framework. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2).

This paper integrates the emerging literatures of empirical research on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework and disciplinary effects in online teaching and learning by examining the disciplinary differences in perceptions of social, teaching, and cognitive presence of over 1,500 students in seven disciplines at two U.S. institutions. Our results found significant disciplinary differences, particularly regarding cognitive presence, in soft, applied disciplines relative to other disciplines. These initial results suggest the possibility that the CoI framework may be more applicable to applied disciplines than pure disciplines. Our findings suggest interesting opportunities for future researchers to consider how the individual elements of the CoI framework may influence and be influenced by academic disciplines and how the framework may need to be refined or modified to explain effective course conduct in pure disciplines.

Swan, K., Garrison, D. R., & Richardson, J. (2009). A constructivist approach to online learning: The community of inquiry framework. In C. R. Payne (Ed.), Information technology and constructivism in higher education: Progressive learning frameworks (pp. 43-57). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

This chapter presents a theoretical model of online learning, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which is grounded in John Dewey’s progressive understanding of education. The CoI framework is a process model of online learning which views the online educational experience as arising from the interaction of three presences – social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. Each of these three elements in the CoI framework are described and related to Dewey’s work, and research findings and issues concerning them reviewed. The development of a common CoI survey measure that promises to address some of these issues is described and discussed. The chapter concludes with emerging findings from new studies which use the CoI survey, directions for future research, and practical uses of the CoI framework.

Akyol, Z. Arbaugh, J.B., Cleveland-Innes, M., Garrison, D.R., Ice, P., Richardson, J.C. & Swan, K. (2009). A Response to the Review of the Community of Inquiry Framework. Journal of Distance Education, 23(2), 123-136.

The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework has become a prominent model of teaching and learning in online and blended learning environments. Considerable research has been conducted which employs the framework with promising results, resulting in wide use to inform the practice of online and blended teaching and learning. For the CoI model to continue to grow and evolve, constructive critiques and debates are extremely beneficial, in so much as they identify potential problems and weaknesses in the model or its application as well as provide direction for further research. In this context, the CoI framework was recently reviewed and critiqued by Rourke and Kanuka in their JDE article entitled “Learning in Communities of Inquiry: A Review of the Literature.”
This paper is a response to this article and focuses on two main issues. The first issue is the focus of the review and critique on learning outcomes. The second issue concerns the representation, comprehensiveness, and methodology of the review.

Akyol , Z. & Garrison, D.R. (2009). Community of Inquiry in Adult Online Learning: Collaborative-Constructivist Approaches. In T. T. Kidd (Ed.), Adult Learning in the Digital Age: Perspectives on Online Technologies and Outcomes (Ch.VI). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

The adult education literature emphasizes community building in order to increase effectiveness and success of online teaching and learning. In this chapter the Community of Inquiry Framework that was developed by Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) has been introduced as a promising theory for adult learning in online environments. The chapter discusses the potential of the CoI framework to create effective adult online learning communities by utilizing the research findings from an online course. Overall, the research findings showed that students had positive attitudes toward the community developed in the course and that their perception of constituting elements of the community of inquiry was significantly related to perceived learning and satisfaction.

Akyol, Z. & Garrison, D.R. (2008). The Development of a Community of Inquiry over Time in an Online Course: Understanding the Progression and Integration of Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 12 (2-3).

The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of an online educational experience through the lens of the Community of Inquiry framework. Transcript analysis of online discussion postings and the Community of Inquiry survey were applied in order to understand the progression and integration of each of the Community of Inquiry presences. The results indicated significant change in teaching and social presence categories over time. Moreover, survey results yielded significant relationships among teaching presence, cognitive presence and social presence, and students’ perceived learning and satisfaction in the course. The findings have important implications theoretically in terms of confirming the framework and practically by identifying the dynamics of each of the presences and their association with perceived learning and satisfaction.

Garrison, D.R. & Arbaugh, J.B. (2007). Researching the community of Inquiry Framework: Review, Issues, and Future Directions. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172.

Since its publication in The Internet and Higher Education, Garrison, Anderson, and Archer’s [Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer,W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.] community of inquiry (CoI) framework has generated substantial interest among online learning researchers. This literature review examines recent research pertaining to the overall framework as well as to specific studies on social, teaching, and cognitive presence. We then use the findings from this literature to identify potential future directions for research. Some of these research directions include the need for more quantitatively-oriented studies, the need for more cross-disciplinary studies, and the opportunities for identifying factors that moderate and/or extend the relationship between the framework’s components and online course outcomes.

Arbaugh, J.B. (2007). An empirical verification of the Community of Inquiry framework. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 11(1), 73-85.

The purpose of this paper is to report on the results of a study that examines whether the CoI dimensions of social, teaching and cognitive presence distinctively exist in e-learning environments. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. First, I will briefly review recent studies on the dimensions of this framework: social, cognitive, and teaching presence. Second, I discuss the development of the sample of MBA students in online courses over a two-year period at a Midwestern U.S. university and the items used to measure the CoI dimensions. Next, I will describe the results of an exploratory factor analysis, including an interpretation of the emerging factors. Finally, I will discuss how these findings relate to conclusions presented in Garrison’s review of recent research related to the CoI [10] and present some possible directions for future research.

Cleveland-Innes, M., Garrison, D.R. & Kinsel, E. (2007). Role Adjustment for Learners in an Online Community of Inquiry: Identifying the Challenges of Incoming Online Learners. International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, 2(1), 1-16.

This study outlines the process of adjustment learners experience when first participating in an online environment. Findings from a pilot study of adjustment to online learning environments validate differences found in three presences in an online community of inquiry. Using pre- and post-questionnaires, students enrolled in entry-level courses in two graduate degree programs at Athabasca University, Canada, describe their adjustment to online learning. Responses were analyzed in relation to the elements of cognitive, social, and teaching presence, defined by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) as core dimensions of student role requirements in an online community of inquiry. In each of these presences, five areas of adjustment characterize the move toward competence in online learning: interaction, self-identity, instructor role, course design, and technology. Student comments provide understanding of the experience of first time online learners, including the challenges, interventions, and resolutions that present themselves as unique incidents. Recommendations for the support and facilitation of adjustment are made.

Shea, P.J. (2006). A study of students’ sense of community in online learning environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 10(1), 35-44.

This paper looks first at some of the often unspoken epistemological, philosophical, and theoretical assumptions that are foundational to student-centered, interactive online pedagogical models. It is argued that these foundational assumptions point to the importance of learning community in the effectiveness of online learning environments. Next, a recent study of 2314 online students across thirty-two college campuses is presented. This study reports on learners’ sense of community and it is concluded through factor and regression analysis that elements of the Community of Inquiry model [1]-specifically learners’ recognition of effective “directed facilitation” and effective instructional design and organization on the part of their instructor contributes to their sense of shared purpose, trust, connectedness, and learning-core elements of a community of learners. Gender also appears to play a small role in students’ sense of learning community with female students reporting higher levels than their male classmates. Implications for online learning environments design are discussed.

Redmond, P. & Lock, J.V. (2006). A flexible Framework for online collaborative learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 9, 267 – 276.

This paper presents a framework for online collaborative learning, also known as telecollaboration. At the centre of this flexible framework are online collaborative educational experiences where knowledge creation and knowledge in action are the nexus of social, teaching and cognitive presence based on the Community of Inquiry model of Garrison, Anderson and Archers [Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., and Archer, W. (1999). Critical thinking in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105]. The framework provided should guide educators as they design, develop and implement authentic educational experiences within local, national or international settings in partnership with other educational stakeholders.

Conrad, D. (2005). Building and Maintaining Community in Cohort-Based Online Learning. Journal of Distance Education, 20(1), 1-20.

In a multi-year study of a group of learners engaged in online graduate study, I explored the development of learners’ sense of community using a variety of data-gathering instruments. An initial questionnaire established learners’ pre-program perceptions of online learning and the notion of community; subsequent questionnaires, interviews, and a focus group monitored developments in learners’ relationships with each other and in their sense of community. The longitudinal nature of this study afforded a rich and sustained investigation into the nature of community as it was experienced by one group of learners. Findings revealed that learners’ perceptions of community and online learning shifted away from technical considerations and toward affective considerations; that learners took responsibility, and credit, for the creation and maintenance of their sense of community; and that the existence of robust community did not deflect learners from valuing face-to-face contact with cohort members.

Garrison, D.R., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Fung, T. (2004). Student Role adjustment in online communities of inquiry. Model and instrument validation. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network, 8(2), 61 – 74.

The purpose of this study is to validate an instrument to study role adjustment of students new to an online community of inquiry. The community of inquiry conceptual model for online learning was used to shape this research and identify the core elements and conditions associated with role adjustment to online learning (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000). Through a factor analytic process it is shown that the instrument did reflect the theoretical model. It was also useful in refining the items for the questionnaire. The instrument is for use in future research designed to measure and understand student role adjustment in online learning.