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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.
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, 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.
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).
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.

DEVINE MURERI on The CoI Community
1 week ago
Hie Fellow. I am Devine Mureri From Zimbabwe . I am Studying BCOM HONS (FINANCIAL DEGREE) at Great Zimbabwe University so , i am interested in taking some of the Survey's at my school under your influence. ...

Kathleen Norris PhD on The CoI Community
2 weeks ago
Hello, My name is Kathleen Norris. I retired as an elementary school principal three years ago after 40 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, and professional development manager. I am currently a contributing faculty member at Walden University. I recently worked with a team to build an online community of ...

Gemma Mitchelson on The CoI Community
3 weeks ago
Thank you so much Dan. I will certainly do so :)

Dan Wilton on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Welcome to the CoI community, Gemma! While others will be able to give more detailed guidance than I on the Shared Metacognition Questionnaire, Vaughan and Wah (2022 - linked below) describes one implementation. It's a 5-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree), shown in Appendix A. But Shared ...

Gemma Mitchelson on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hello everyone My name is Gemma and I am studying a Doctorate in Education. I am really keen to use the Shared Metacognition Questionnaire as one tool for gathering data but I cannot find any information on how to implement it? Is a 6-point likert scale used and if so, what are the measurements used e.g. strongly ...

D. Randy Garrison on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Cliona, Welcome. I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have. Best, DRG

Cliona Jane Chadwick on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hello, My name is Cliona Chadwick. I am a student of the MA in Technical Communication and E-Learning at the University of Limerick. I am very interested in learning more about this community. Thank you very much. ...

Gilbert DUSHIMIMANA on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Goodevening to every one! My name is Gilbert DUSHIMIMANA, I live in Kigali, Rwanda. I am a chemistry teacher in secondary school. I hold bachelor degree in chemistry with education. i am really interested in education to contribute a lot to my country development. Thank you so ...

Stefan Stenbom on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hi Daijiro! Welcome to the website. Looking forward to further discussions.

Daijiro Goto on The CoI Community
1 month ago
Hi everyone. I am an associate professor at a graduate school of teaching. I am studying face-to-face classes in Japanese elementary school science classes and higher education. I believe and hope the work will help many educators. ...
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.