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THE CoI SURVEY
AND VALIDATION STUDIES

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.

VALIDATION STUDIES

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, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-020-09268-6
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. https://www.doi.org/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. http://www.thecommunityofinquiry.org/editorial15

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, 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. https://doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.5.2.50
Norz, L., Hackl, W., Benning, N., Knaup-Gregori, P., & Ammenwerth, E. (2023). Development and Validation of the German Version of the Community of Inquiry Survey. Online Learning, 27(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v27i1.3306
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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2014.12.004
RECENT COMMENTS

Lailaturrahmi on The CoI Community
2 days ago
Hi Marije, I am not sure if this addresses your question, but this tool may help: Teacher Self-Assessment and Exploration Tool: https://read.aupress.ca/read/principles-of-blended-learning/section/2b32aff1-63b8-4b09-9c79-84bc13b61a56 ...

Damilare on The CoI Community
5 days ago
Hello community, I'm Dami, a student of Political Science and International Relations. From Osun State University, Nigeria. I saw this community, because I was in search of a community that would help improve my knowledge, and might get to meet students like me who wants to get better in their various courses and be ...

D. Randy Garrison on The CoI Community
3 weeks ago
Marije, Not sure I can be of much direct help. There is considerable research on faculty development if that would help. There is extensive research where faculty have used the CoI framework to design online learning experiences. Finally, I am not clear as to your question regarding different courses. the framework ...

Marije Lesterhuis on The CoI Community
4 weeks ago
Hey all, I am an assistant professor at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands. I am interested in the framework, as my PhD student in Kenya is using it in his PhD research. He is looking into online and blended learning. We've found already some work within medical education, but have not found much ...

D. Randy Garrison on Cognitive Presence Update
8 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
8 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
8 months ago
Will try to look into this. Thank you for the suggestion.

D. Randy Garrison on CoI Effectiveness and Future Development
8 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
8 months ago
Thank you for your response. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?

D. Randy Garrison on The CoI Community
9 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 ...
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.