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Re-examining the Construct Validity and Causal Relationships of Teaching, Cognitive and Social Presence in Community of Inquiry Framework
Dempsey, Patrick and Zhang, Jie

PublishedMarch 2019
JournalOnline Learning
Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 62-79
CountryUnited States, North America

Despite the prevalence of research on the community of inquiry framework and its associated measurement instrument, more research is needed to re-evaluate the factor structure, study the effects of covariates or measurement invariance, and explore the relationships amongst the three presences. Results of this study indicated that (a) teaching, social, and cognitive presence are each multidimensional and higher-order constructs; (b) measurement invariance was fully achieved for gender and partially for age, ethnicity, discipline, and online experience; (c) structural relationships of the three main constructs—teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence—suggested potential psychometric adjustments. The teaching presence construct in particular should be reconstructed to appropriately reflect and measure the construct as conceptually defined—as a distribution of teaching responsibility and authority—as opposed to how it is currently operationalized in the community of inquiry instrument—as a centralization of responsibility and authority with the instructor.

Keywords community of inquiry · structural equation modelling · online education

CoI focusFull model
Data analysisStructural equation modelling
InstrumentCoI survey
RightsCC BY
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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.