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ABOUT THE FRAMEWORK
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY

An educational community of inquiry is a group of individuals who collaboratively engage in purposeful critical discourse and reflection to construct personal meaning and confirm mutual understanding.

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: Cognitive Presence, Social Presence, and 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.

KEY RESEARCH AREAS

The Community of Inquiry theoretical framework represents a process of creating a deep and meaningful (collaborative-constructivist) learning experience through the development of three interdependent elements: social, cognitive and teaching presence.

READ ABOUT THE FRAMEWORK AND PRESENCES

The Community of Inquiry survey or questionnaire is a stable instrument that can be used in a variety of studies, including large scale inter-institutional or cross-disciplinary studies.

READ ABOUT THE SURVEY

Shared metacognition (MC) exists at the intersection of the cognitive and teaching presence constructs and goes to the heart of a deep and meaningful educational learning experience. The Shared Metacognition Questionnaire (SMQ) has been developed for the study and practice of shared metacognition in a community of inquiry.

READ ABOUT SHARED METACOGNITION
A HISTORY

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 framework of a community of inquiry comprised of three essential elements of an educational experience: cognitive, social and 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 and Archer, 2000) has been cited more than 2800 times (as reported by Google Scholar August 2015) and provided the foundation for valuable empirical research in learning theory across multiple disciplines and in varied educational settings.

In the following 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.

Reflective Teaching in a Digital Age: Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework and Online Teaching

RECENT COMMENTS

D. Randy Garrison on Cognitive Presence Update
6 months ago
The easy answer is that they cannot be easily separated; they overlap in the Venn diagram. According to the diagram and theory, each can have differing influence on the educational experience (dependent variable however it is defined). Off the top I suppose that the correlation among the presences will depend on the ...

FA Triatmoko HS on Cognitive Presence Update
6 months ago
Do you think that the 3 elements of CoI need to be explained in model which explain the correlation or causality? For examples, whether CP is as a dependent variable for TP and SP. Or is it that CP, TP and SP cannot be separated in ...

FA Triatmoko HS on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
7 months ago
Will try to look into this. Thank you for the suggestion.

D. Randy Garrison on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
7 months ago
Perhaps use other examples of indicators from the CoI elements? To be more specific i would suggest using the questionnaire items to begin to generate corresponding indicators. Conversely we used indicators from each of the three elements to help generate CoI questionnaire ...

FA Triatmoko HS on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
7 months ago
Thank you for your response. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?

D. Randy Garrison on The CoI Community
7 months ago
Hi Audrey, Although I had researched self-directed/regulated learning early in my career, it was a research project by another scholar that suggested integrating a self-directed learning element into the CoI framework that precipitated our work on self and co-regulation. I found a couple of fundamental issues with ...

D. Randy Garrison on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
7 months ago
Good point. I would strongly encourage you to take this on. I would be pleased to contribute where I can but I am retired and not in a position to initiate such a task. DRG

Audrey on The CoI Community
7 months ago
I'm interested in the evolution of the framework and the changes it's undergone from its first inception in 2000 to how it was illustrated in the third edition of E-Learning in the 21st Century (2017). Specifically the addition of the outermost circle and the shift from "selected content" to "regulated learning". Are ...

FA Triatmoko HS on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
7 months ago
What tools do you suggest if we want to qualitatively know about the dynamics of shared metacognition? Compared with the CoI construct, it didn't have any indicators yet.

FA Triatmoko HS on The CoI Community
7 months ago
Greetings from Indonesia! My name is Triatmoko. I'm a Ph.D. student at Universitas Indonesia. I've known the CoI framework for quite some time. My master's thesis uses CoI as a basis for intervention, to support higher education student's critical thinking development. I hope to study more about CoI for my Ph.D ...
The Community of Inquiry is a project of Athabasca University, Mount Royal University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, as well as researchers and members of the CoI community.