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The Community of Inquiry questionnaire is developed and validated by a collaborative research team. The members of the team, in alphabetical order, are Ben Arbaugh, Marti Cleveland-Innes, Sebastian Diaz, D. Randy Garrison, Phil Ice, Jennifer Richardson, Peter Shea and Karen Swan.

The results were presented at the Sloan-C Conference in Orlando in November 2008. A three factor solution with oblique rotation was presented. All variables loaded cleanly on the expected factor/presence. This suggests a stable instrument that could be used in a variety of studies, including large scale inter-institutional or cross-disciplinary studies.

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The CoI Survey is an open resource under Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA). Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of the CoI survey to use, share, copy, adapt, merge, publish or distribute the document in any medium or format for any purpose, provided that appropriate credit is given, and any modified material is distributed under the same Creative Commons license.


The original CoI Survey validation study was reported in the following articles:

Arbaugh, J.B., Cleveland-Innes, M., Diaz, S.R., Garrison, D.R., Ice, P., Richardson, & Swan, K.P. (2008). Developing a community of inquiry instrument: Testing a measure of the Community of Inquiry framework using a multi-institutional sample. The Internet and higher Education, 11(3-4), 133-136.
This article reports on the multi-institutional development and validation of an instrument that attempts to operationalize Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (2000). The results of the study suggest that the instrument is a valid, reliable, and efficient measure of the dimensions of social presence and cognitive presence, thereby providing additional support for the validity of the CoI as a framework for constructing effective online learning environments. While factor analysis supported the idea of teaching presence as a construct, it also suggested that the construct consisted of two factors—one related to course design and organization and the other related to instructor behavior during the course. The article concludes with a discussion of potential implications of further refinement of the CoI measures for researchers, designers, administrators, and instructors.
Swan, K., Shea, P., Richardson, J., Ice, P., Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2008). Validating a measurement tool of presence in online communities of inquiry. E-Mentor, 2(24), 1-12.

A more comprehensive list of studies regarding the validation of the CoI framework and survey can be found in the following publications:

Abbitt, J. T., Boone, W. J. (2021). Gaining insight from survey data: an analysis of the community of inquiry survey using Rasch measurement techniques. Journal of Computing in Higher Education,
This article presents the results of evaluating a dataset collected with the Community of inquiry (CoI) survey using Rasch psychometric techniques to evaluate instrument functioning. The purpose of this article is to present a Rasch analysis of the CoI survey to provide insight into the functioning of the instrument beyond other statistical analyses of the CoI that have been conducted to date. The results of the analysis provide new insights into the functioning of this measurement instrument and demonstrate the usefulness of Rasch techniques.
Wei, L., Hu, Y., Zuo, M., & Luo, H. (2020, July). Extending the CoI Framework to K-12 Education: Development and Validation of a Learning Experience Questionnaire. In Blended Learning: Education in a Smart Learning Environment. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-51968-1_26
There has been a lack of theoretically framework and research instruments to explain and explore the complexity of learning experience among K-12 students in traditional classrooms. To address this research need, the present study tentatively developed and validated a presence questionnaire for K-12 classroom (PQ-K12) to examine learning experience through the interplay of three perceived presences, as informed by the community of inquiry (CoI) framework. The presence questionnaire was initially designed with 66 items and was administered among 200 primary school students in central China. A three-step validation process comprising item analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis were conducted sequentially, leading to the removal of 21 items from the overall scale. The revised questionnaire yielded a strong internal reliability and a moderate structural validity. The preliminary results of this study can inform the future revision of the PQ-K12 questionnaire and provide insights on the key characteristics of K-12 education.
Garrison, D. R. (2017). E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Community of Inquiry Framework for Research and Practice (3rd edition). London: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Garrison, D. R. (2018). Validity of CoI.

The CoI Survey has been translated and validated in other languages. Some of these are:

Ma, Z., Wang, J., Wang, Q., Kong, L., Wu, Y., & Yang, H. (2017). 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: IRRODL, 18(6), 213-230.
Moreira, J. A., Ferreira, A. G., & Almeida, A. C. (2013). Comparing communities of inquiry of Portuguese higher education students: One for all or one for each? Open Praxis, 5(2), 165-178. doi: 10.5944/openpraxis.5.2.50
Olpak, Y. Z., & Cakmak, E. K. (2018). Examining the reliability and validity of a Turkish version of the Community of Inquiry Survey. Online Learning Journal, 22(1), 142-160.
Velázquez, B. B., Gil-Jaurena, I., Encina, J. M. (2019). Validation of the Spanish version of the ‘Community of Inquiry’ survey. Revista de Educación a Distancia, 59(4), 1-26.
We present the study of the reliability and validity of the ‘Community of Inquiry’ (CoI) survey in its Spanish version. The CoI model conceives teaching-learning in online environments as a process of inquiry, through which the participants collaborate in the discourse and critical reflection to build personal knowledge and reach a mutual understanding. Consequently, the CoI model identifies the presence of three dimensions: a) the cognitive presence, referred to the degree to which the participants are capable of constructing meaning and knowledge through continuous communication, reflection and discussion; b) the social presence, defined as the ability of participants to identify with the community, communicate and develop interpersonal relationships; c) the teaching presence, referred to the design, guidance and direction, on the part of the faculty, of cognitive and social processes with the purpose of achieving significant learning results in the students. The validation of the survey in the context of Spanish distance learning shows satisfactory results from the point of view of construct validity and reliability as internal consistency, confirming the usefulness and interest of this instrument in investigations that seek to analyze and improve the development of educational processes through communities of inquiry.
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. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2014.12.004

Stefan Overton on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hi everyone, Great to see this site, I am currently working on my PhD looking at how personalised learning can be carried out using the CoI as a framework within a blended study mode. Hoping that the work may help other educators to understand how to develop a personalised learning strategy. Currently looking at ...

Dan Wilton on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Welcome, James! You're exploring some very interesting territory here. The intersection between the Community of Inquiry and learning analytics is likely to become an important research area over the next few years - as is the area of affective, emotional, or "multimodal" learning analytics itself, as you describe ...

James A. Allen on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Greetings everyone. COL is basically in the learning domain, however, is it possible to assess or measure entry level skills in social presence, particularly affective behaviors to determine how well the student will do initially in a course. I understand that affective behaviors are effective until the COL becomes ...

Faith Mlotsa-Mngomezulu on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Sending my greetings to everyone. I am an education practitioner from Southern Africa Nazarene University who is mainly interested in a socio-constructivist approach to education in Higher Education. With the increase in unemployment I am realizing that creativity and innovation which is an element of construction is ...

D. Randy Garrison on Motivation and the CoI Framework
1 month ago
Minghui, Thanks for your question. While this deserves a more extended response, let be briefly say that both Lipman's work and the CoI framework is grounded generally in Dewey's work, although Dewey did not used this term explicitly. We borrowed the term community of inquiry from Lipman (2003) as this reflected my ...

Minghui Ye on Motivation and the CoI Framework
1 month ago
Dear professor, recently i have read the community of inquiry that created by Lipman decades years ago. So, I am wondering the relationship between your community framework and Lipman's. Are there some relationship between learning community(Dewey) , community of inquiry(Lipman) and community of inquiry (yours)? ...

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

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