Effectiveness of community of inquiry based online course: Cognitive, social and teaching presence
Seda Aktı Aslan 1 * , Yiğit Emrah Turgut 2
More Detail
1 Ministry of National Education, Turkey
2 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Faculty of Education, Turkey
* Corresponding Author


This quasi-experimental study aimed to examine students’ community of inquiry perceptions through online learning activities designed based on the community of inquiry model. The participants of the study consisted of 81 freshmen enrolled in two different departments of a Turkish state university. The process for the experimental procedure was carried out as part of the Information Technologies course. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the research process was carried out with synchronous distance education. While the control group received instruction through direct instruction and question/answer technique, the experimental group received instruction based on the community of inquiry model. For data collection, a demographic information form and the community of inquiry scale were administered. According to the results, students in the experimental group had significantly higher scores in terms of cognitive and teaching presence compared with the students in the control group. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed between the groups in terms of their social presence scores. Overall, the students in the experimental group had higher community of inquiry score than the students in the control group.



  • Adarkwah, M. A. (2021). “I’m not against online teaching, but what about us?”: ICT in Ghana post Covid-19. Education and Information Technologies, 26, 1665–1685. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10331-z
  • Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2011). Understanding cognitive presence in an online and blended community of inquiry: Assessing outcomes and processes for deep approaches to learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2), 233-250. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01029.x
  • Almaiah, M. A., Al-Khasawneh, A., & Althunibat, A. (2020). Exploring the critical challenges and factors influencing the E-learning system usage during COVID-19 pandemic. Education and Information Technologies, 25, 5261-5280. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10120-8
  • Arbaugh, J. B., Cleveland-Innes, M., Diaz, S. R., Garrison, D. R., Ice, P., Richardson, J. C., & 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2008.06.003
  • Borup, J., West, R. E., & Graham, C. R. (2012). Improving online social presence through asynchronous video. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 195-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.11.001
  • Caskurlu, S., Richardson, J. C., Maeda, Y., & Kozan, K. (2021). The qualitative evidence behind the factors impacting online learning experiences as informed by the community of inquiry framework: A thematic synthesis. Computers & Education, 165, 104111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.104111
  • Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155
  • Cooper, V. A. (2014). Creating a community of inquiry in higher education: A practical example and lessons learned. The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 95-107.
  • Davidson-Shivers, G. V., Rasmussen, K. L., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2018). Overview of online instruction and learning environments and communities. In Web-based learning (pp. 3-41). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67840-5_1
  • De Gagne, J. C., & Walters, K. (2009). Online teaching experience: A qualitative metasynthesis (QMS). MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(4), 577-589.
  • Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2018). Online educators’ recommendations for teaching online: Crowdsourcing in action. Open Praxis, 10(1), 79-89. https://doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.10.1.721
  • Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. Sage Publications.
  • Fiock, H. (2020). Designing a community of inquiry in online courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 21(1), 135-153. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v20i5.3985
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T. & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment. The Internet and Higher Education, 2, (2-3), 87-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6
  • Garrison, D. R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Taylor & Francis.
  • Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-Learning in the 21st Century: A framework for research and practice. RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2003). A theory of critical inquiry in online distance education. Handbook of Distance Education, 1, 113-127.
  • Garrison, D. R., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2007.04.001
  • Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Fung, T. (2004). Student role Adjustment in Online Communities of Inquiry: Model and Instrument Validation. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(2), 61-74.
  • Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Fung, T. S. (2010). Exploring causal relationships among teaching, cognitive and social presence: Student perceptions of the community of inquiry framework. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 31-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.10.002
  • Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review, 27, 1-12.
  • Horzum, M. B. (2015). Online learning students’ perceptions of the community of inquiry based on learning outcomes and demographic variables. Croatian Journal of Education: Hrvatski časopis za odgoj i obrazovanje, 17(2), 535-567. https://doi.org/10.15516/cje.v17i2.607
  • Joo, Y. J., Lim, K. Y., & Kim, E. K. (2011). Online university students' satisfaction and persistence: Examining perceived level of presence, usefulness and ease of use as predictors in a structural model. Computers & Education, 57(2), 1654-1664. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.02.008
  • Kanuka, H., & Garrison, D. R. (2004). Cognitive presence in online learning. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 15(2), 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02940928
  • Kılıç, S., Horzum, M. B., & Çakıroğlu, Ü. (2016). Investigating teaching, social and cognitive presence of students in synchronous online environments. Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education, 7(2), 350-364. https://doi.org/10.16949/turcomat.35549
  • Kozan, K., & Caskurlu, S. (2018). On the nth presence for the community of inquiry framework. Computers & Education, 122, 104-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.03.010
  • Kozan, K., & Richardson, J. C. (2014). Interrelationships between and among social, teaching, and cognitive presence. The Internet and Higher Education, 21, 68-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2013.10.007
  • Kupczynski, L., Ice, P., Wiesenmayer, R., & McCluskey, F. (2010). Student perceptions of the relationship between indicators of teaching presence and success in online courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(1), 23-43.
  • Lee, S. M. (2014). The relationships between higher order thinking skills, cognitive density, and social presence in online learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 21, 41–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2013.12.002
  • Lee, J., & Martin, L. (2017). Investigating students’ perceptions of motivating factors of online class discussions. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5), 148-172. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.2883
  • Lowenthal, P. R., & Parscal, T. (2008). Teaching presence online facilitates meaningful learning. The Learning Curve, 3(4), 1-2.
  • Lowenthal, P., & Dunlap, J. (2018). Investigating students’ perceptions of instructional strategies to establish social presence. Distance Education, 39(3), 281-298. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2018.1476844
  • McMillan, J. H., & Schumacher, S. (2010). Research in Education: Evidence-Based Inquiry, MyEducationLab Series. Pearson.
  • Öztürk, E. (2012). An adaptation of the community of inquiry index: The study of validity and reliability. Elementary Education Online, 11(2), 408-422.
  • Öztürk, E., Erdem, M., & Deryakulu, D. (2017). The predictive power of social and teaching presence on cognitive presence. Kastamonu Education Journal, 25(4), 1319-1336.
  • Özyurt, Ö., & Özyurt, H. (2013). An examination of computer engineering students’ perceptions about asynchronous discussion forums. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 9(4), 371-378. https://doi.org/10.12973/eurasia.2013.941a
  • Peacock, S., & Cowan, J. (2016). From presences to linked influences within communities of inquiry. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 17(5), 267-283. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v17i5.2602
  • Redmond, P. (2014). Reflection as an indicator of cognitive presence. E-Learning and Digital Media, 11(1), 46-58. https://doi.org/10.2304/elea.2014.11.1.46
  • Richardson, J. C., Ice, P., & Swan, K. (2009). Tips and techniques for integrating social, teaching, & cognitive presence into your courses. Poster session presented at the Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, Madison, WI.
  • Richardson, J. C., Maeda, Y., Lv, J., & Caskurlu, S. (2017). Social presence in relation to students' satisfaction and learning in the online environment: A meta-analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 402-417. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.02.001
  • Romiszowski, A., & Mason, R. (2004). Computer-mediated communication. In D. H. Jonassen. (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 397-431). Simon & Schuster Macmillan.
  • Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Methodological issues in the content analysis of computer conference transcripts. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 12, 8–22.
  • Rovai, A. P. (2000). Building and sustaining community in asynchronous learning networks. The Internet and Higher Education, 3, 285-297. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(01)00037-9
  • Rovai, A. P. (2001). Classroom community at a distance: A comparative analysis of two ALN-based university programs. The Internet and Higher Education, 4(2), 105-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(01)00053-7
  • Shea, P., Li, C. S., Swan, K., & Pickett, A. (2005). Developing learning community in online asynchronous college courses: The role of teaching presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(4), 59-82.
  • Sorensen, C. K., & Baylen, D. M. (2009). Learning online: Adapting the seven principles of good practice to a Web-based instructional environment. In A. Orellana, T. L. Hudgins, & M. Samonson (Eds.), The perfect online course: Best practices for designing and teaching (pp. 69-86). Information Age Publishing.
  • Stephens, G. E., & Roberts, K. L. (2017). Facilitating collaboration in online groups. Journal of Educators Online, 14(1), 1-16.
  • Stewart, M. K. (2017). Communities of inquiry: A heuristic for designing and assessing interactive learning activities in technology-mediated FYC. Computers and Composition, 45, 67-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compcom.2017.06.004
  • Swan, K., Shea, P., Richardson, J., Ice, P., Garrison, D., Cleveland-Innes, M. ve Arbaugh, J. (2008). Validating a measurement tool of presence in online communities of inquiry. E- Mentor, 2(24), 1-12.
  • Szeto, E. (2015). Community of Inquiry as an instructional approach: What effects of teaching, social and cognitive presences are there in blended synchronous learning and teaching? Computers & Education, 81, 191-201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.015
  • Tu, C. (2007). How Chinese perceive social presence: An examination of interaction in online learning environment. Educational Media International, 38(1), 45-60. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523980010021235
  • Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca University Press.
  • Watson, F. F., Bishop, M. C., & Ferdinand-James, D. (2017). Instructional strategies to help online students learn: Feedback from online students. TechTrends, 61, 420-427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0216-y


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.