The Community of Inquiry

Podcast on the history of the CoI Framework

In an interview for the Reflective Teaching in a Digital Age podcast, Dr. Randy Garrison describes the history of the CoI framework, including its role in the thoughtful design of online education, and practical ways of helping students learn through active participation and shared meaning-making.

Click here to listen to the interview


Community of Inquiry

Community of Inquiry (Click to view the interactive Flash animation)

This interactive website is designed to collect published research about the CoI and discuss these publications with interested researchers and practitioners.  We hope to create a community of inquiry about the Community of Inquiry framework!

Activity and discussion will focus on sharing empirical evidence, practice implications, and use of the framework for faculty development and course (re)design.  One research project underway will review a sample of empirical studies and determine which, if any, patterns are emerging in the research being done on the CoI Framework (Cleveland-Innes, Garrison & Vaughan).   The second phase of a study on meta-cognition (self & co-regulation) within a CoI (collaborative learning environments) has just been completed and a metacognitive construct and instrument has been confirmed (Garrison, Akyol & Nordstokke, unpublished).  Recently, additional or expanded presences at work online have been suggested (Cleveland-Innes & Campbell, 2012; Vladimirschi, 2012).

In sum, our aim is to offer the opportunity for continuous discussion about the framework by researchers and practitioners committed to the explication and implementation of inquiry-based practice in the development of online and blended learning communities.

Randy Garrison 3U8C0009 Dr. Norm Vaughan
Dr. Randy Garrison
Bio and Welcome Message
CoI Foundational Research Papers (doc)
Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes
Welcome Message (mp3)
Dr. Norm Vaughan
Welcome Message (YouTube)

The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework theory, methodology, and instruments were developed during a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities research funded project entitled “A Study of the Characteristics and Qualities of Text-Based Computer Conferencing for Educational Purposes” project which ran from 1997 to 2001. Central to the original study was the creation of a model of a community of inquiry comprised of three essential elements of an educational experience:

1. Cognitive Presence
2. Social Presence
3. Teaching Presence

Outcomes of the original project were published in peer-reviewed journals which, in turn, have resulted in hundreds of research studies applying and extending the original CoI theory, method, and instruments. The seminal paper “Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education” (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) has been cited more than 7000 times (as reported by Google Scholar  July 2021) and provided the foundation for valuable empirical research in learning theory across multiple disciplines and in varied educational settings.

This website provides quick access to the growing collection of CoI resources including books, published articles, measurement instruments, dissertations, interest groups, discussion forums, presentations, related links, wikis, and blogs by active CoI researchers, including Drs. Garrison, Cleveland-Innes, Vaughan, Koole, and others. If you wish to become a contributing member of this community, we invite you to register to share your own research and contribute to the collections archived on this site. Non-members are most welcome to view models, references, resources, and links on this website and contact the community by email.

You’ll find links to books and published research (where allowed by copyright), as well as links to other related information on the tabs above. An important component of this online Community of Inquiry is sharing experiences, concerns, or questions through discussion forums, wikis, and blogs. We hope you’ll add your voice to the conversation.

Join us at the Community of Inquiry multi-author blog for editorials and active research projects.

Our new multi-author blog is a community of inquiry for the Community of Inquiry. Post a summary of your CoI-related research project for feedback from your fellow members of the CoI community, and join in the discussion to further the research of others.

The CoI blog will also feature regular editorials from our team of editors and guest authors, with additional features anticipated to develop and support a thriving community of inquiry around the CoI.

CIDER Community of Inquiry Webinars

The CIDER Community of Inquiry Webinar Series recently concluded a series of monthly online seminars. The sessions featured presentations by leading researchers on the CoI framework and its application to blended, distance, and online learning. Visit the CIDER website to view archived recordings of these and to view the upcoming 2015-2016 CIDER presentations.