The Community of Inquiry makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.

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.

EnglishPDF | Word
Españoldisponible aquí
DeutscheBy request from Dr. Elske Ammenwerth, UMIT TIROL:

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

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

Ibrahim Garba on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hello everyone from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia! I'm a Higher Education doctoral student at University of Liverpool in good old United Kingdom 💕! I look forward to sharing part of my thesis with you. I'm looking at ways to improve teaching and learning using the COI framework ...

Lintang Matahari Hasani on The CoI Community
2 months ago
Hello everyone, warmest greetings from Indonesia! I'm a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia. I am looking forward to contribute in the implementation of CoI, especially in the fields of computer science education. I am excited to be a part of this amazing community! ...

Kristin Millard on The CoI Community
4 months ago
Hi, everyone. I am a Higher Education Leadership doctoral student at Maryville University in St. Louis, MO. My dissertation is a mixed-method study on the persistence of international students who study online while living in their home countries. I am using CoI as my framework. I am just beginning my research, and I ...
The Community of Inquiry is a project of Athabasca University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, as well as researchers and members of the CoI community.