Int. J. of Learning Technology   »   2012 Vol.7, No.3



Title: Applying the community of inquiry framework: a novel tool for systematic and economic coding and analysis of forum discourse in situ and in context


Author: Mc Donald Van der Merwe


Address: School of Computing, University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, UNISA, 0003, South Africa


Abstract: The online discussion forum (ODF) is one of the most widely used e-learning tools in open distance learning (ODL) environments. A popular line of research focuses on producing instruments that can be used to assess the level and amount of learning that takes place via transcript analysis of ODF-discourse. Of current interest is the influential community of inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework, first described by Garrison, Anderson and Archer in 2000. With validation of an ever-evolving framework a constant research focus, the CoI literature provides little insight into educator-level experiences when applying the framework. This paper describes and documents the author's approach and experience in using the framework to assess the status of the CoI in an ODF-driven course. In particular, it describes the motivation for, design, application and analysis results achieved with a novel tool that allows systematic and economical coding and analysis of ODF discourse in situ and in context.


Keywords: community of inquiry framework; online discussion forums; ODF; coding; transcript analysis; forum discourse; e-learning tools; open distance learning; ODL; electronic learning; online learning.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2012.049192


Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2012 Vol.7, No.3, pp.246 - 260


Available online: 22 Sep 2012



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