The Community of Inquiry makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.
Visualising the dynamics of online learning communities in online and blending learning courses: Experiences from three university courses
Chuang, Victoria Jae · Ceballos, Alejandro · Bundgaard, Helle · Furu, Peter · Bregnhøj, Henrik · Harker-Schuch, Inez · Henriksen, Christian Bugge

Published4 November 2016
JournalTidsskriftet Læring Og Medier (LOM)
Volume 9, Issue 16
CountryDenmark, Europe

Online learning communities are a foundational element of online and blended learning. Many learning activities in online and blended learning courses require students to collaborate and work together with their peers. In order for these learning activities to be successful it is important that participants are engaged socially and emotionally in their online interaction to create a sense of community and cohesion, corresponding to what constitutes Social Presence in the Community of Inquiry Framework model. As teachers, we therefore focus on creating learning designs that facilitate the development of online learning communities. In this article, we examine the development of online learning communities in online discussion forums. We map a selection of discussion threads from three university-level courses using the NodeXL software, and discuss the implications of e.g. structure, facilitation and group size on the online learning community that emerges. We find that the framework for participation in discussions (e.g. level of guidance and role of facilitators) affects the degree of connectivity within the online learning community and the prevalence of “social” posting, which has implications for strengthening the community and student-to-student support throughout the course.

Keywords online learning community · social presence · learning design · social posting

CoI focusSocial presence
MethodologyMixed Method
Study designCase study
Data analysisSocial network analysis
Sample size8 forums
Study aim"... we explore how online learning communities can be used in learning designs to promote social presence and improve intended learning outcomes."
Finding"Our study confirms previous studies showing that teaching presence may positively affect social presence and cognitive presence and that social presence may in itself positively affect cognitive presence."
RightsCC BY-NC
ExportBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

lbuus24412-58680-1-ED.pdf · 1.8MB6 downloads

Viewed by 0 distinct readers


The evaluations below represent the judgements of our readers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CoI editors.


Exploring social and cognitive presences in communities of inquiry to perform higher cognitive tasks
Tirado Morueta, Ramón; Maraver López, Pablo; Hernando Gómez, Ángel; Harris, Victor W.
The purpose of the current study was to explore social and cognitive relationships among students when they are solving complex cognitive tasks in online discussion forums (self-regulated). An online course targeting ...
Match: communities; social presence

Student Engagement in Online and Blended Learning in a Higher Education Institution in the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions
Fazza, Hany; Mahgoub, Mohamed
This paper aims to identify challenges to students’ engagement in online learning at the Qatar branch campus of America’s Georgetown University, and to propose solutions. Specifically, it: 1) identifies challenges ...
Match: social presence

Creating Community in EdD Programs during COVID-19: Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities
Adams, Alyson; Jeter, Gage
Building community in online EdD programs can be a challenge, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of doing so. In this essay, we will situate community building within the larger Community of ...
Match: social presence

Establishing Social Presence for an Engaging Online Teaching and Learning Experience
Patel, Nadya Shaznay
Unlike face-to-face classes where physical presence is a given, the lack of “real” interpersonal connections to establish a strong social presence in online teaching and learning experience affects student learning. ...
Match: social presence

Teaching and social presences supporting basic needs satisfaction in online learning environments: How can presences and basic needs happily meet online?
Turk, Murat; Heddy, Benjamin C.; Danielson, Robert W.
This study examined the hypothesized relationships between perceived teaching presence and social presence accounting for social-contextual factors in online learning environments and online students’ basic ...
Match: social presence

A network-based analytic approach to uncovering the relationship between social and cognitive presences in communities of inquiry
Rolim, Vitor; Ferreira, Rafael; Lins, Rafael Dueire; Gǎsević, Dragan
This paper presents a network-based approach to uncovering the relationship between the elements of social and cognitive presences in a community of inquiry. The paper demonstrates how epistemic network analysis (ENA) ...
Match: communities; social presence

The impact of computer self-efficacy, situational interest and academic self-concept in virtual communities of inquiry during the distance learning procedures through Second Life
Pellas, Nikolaos; Kazanidis, Ioannis
The current study investigates a case where the online learning procedure in three-dimensional (3D) technologically-advanced environments of the Web 2.0 is growing at an exponential rate. In this occasion it is highly ...
Match: communities

Disciplinary differences and emotional presence in communities of inquiry: Teachers’ expressions of digital technology-enabled teaching
Sundgren, Marcus; Jaldemark, Jimmy; Cleveland-Innes, Martha
This work was built on two strands of earlier research on the community of inquiry framework (CoI). The first strand was Biglan's seminal work on disciplinary epistemological structures and how these structures impact ...
Match: communities

Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education
Garrison, D. Randy; Anderson, Terry; Archer, Walter
The purpose of this study is to provide conceptual order and a tool for the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and computer conferencing in supporting an educational experience. Central to the study introduced ...
Match: social presence

Effects of online presence on learning performance in a blog-based online course
Yang, Jie Chi; Quadir, Benazir; Chen, Nian-Shing; Miao, Qiang
This study investigated how learners' perceived online presence contributed to their learning performance while participating in a blog-based university course. Although the literature evidently highlights that there is ...
Match: social presence
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.