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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

Rick Holbeck on The CoI Community
2 days ago
Thank you so much!

Dan Wilton on The CoI Community
2 days ago
Welcome to the CoI community, Rick! Yes, shared metacognition (and the closely related [socially] shared regulation of learning, see eg. Sanna Jarvela and colleagues) is a key piece of the CoI picture and I'm sure will be an important research area over the next few years. As it stands, it can be a challenging ...

Rick Holbeck on The CoI Community
2 days ago
Good afternoon from Phoenix, AZ. I am at the beginning stages of a doctoral program and have been interested in the CoI Framework. I have recently read about the construct of shared metacognition and saw that there seems to be a large gap in this area. Can someone tell me how I can view a copy of the Shared ...

Heather Saigo on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hi Martha! Thank you for those references. I am adding them to my reading list right now. I appreciate your help! Heather

Heather Saigo on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hi Dan! Thank you for the welcome and the insight. I will check out that post for sure! Heather

Martha Cleveland-Innes on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hi Heather! Great question. Leadership in any group can be informal, shared, and emergent. In education, connectivism tries to get to this. These ideas may start your review of this issue. Corbett, F., & Spinello, E. (2020). Connectivism and leadership: harnessing a learning theory for the digital age to redefine ...

Dan Wilton on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Welcome to the CoI community, Heather! You might be interested in some of the ideas being explored by Terry Anderson and Jon Dron potentially to bridge the gap between more formal, deliberately planned communities of inquiry and informal "sets" or "networks" of learners. Dr. Anderson's blog post below might be a good ...

Heather Saigo on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Oh, I have been wondering about this and maybe someone here has insight. A Community of Inquiry can form without a formal set-up and instructor/leader? I feel like I've participated in CoI that took shape organically among a group of learners, but I'm not sure whether that fits the model. What do you ...

Heather Saigo on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hello! I am a doctoral student in education, in the process of focusing my dissertation questions. I am curious about whether a Discord community constitutes a Community of Inquiry. Perhaps I will do a qualitative evaluation of online interactions to determine whether they fit the CoI framework. Still working on ...

Martha Cleveland-Innes on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hello Ibrahim! Welcome to our log and repository. We look forward to hearing about your CoI research and the results. M.Cleveland-Innes
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.