Title: Community of inquiry framework: employing instructor-driven measures in search of a relationship among presences and student learning outcomes
Author: Mc Donald Van der Merwe
Address: School of Computing, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, UNISA, 0003, South Africa
Abstract: The community of inquiry (CoI) framework is generally regarded as the most influential learning process model available to support a constructivist orientation in computer-mediated higher education distance learning environments. The framework is not without criticism - the central assertion is a lack of empirical evidence to support the claim that a CoI leads to deep and meaningful learning outcomes. A recent study, therefore, examined the relationship between student perceptions of a CoI and instructor-assessed learning outcomes. In reporting a lack of correlation, the results appear supportive of the criticism levelled. The current study takes this approach further by removing student perception measures, and investigates the relationship between instructor-driven measures of the CoI and learning achievement outcomes. Whereas a small sample size (n = 24) prevents the study from claiming full evidence of a relationship, significant positive relationships found between learning outcomes and most of the CoI presences and its dimensions suggest that instructor-driven measures may provide a way forward in the search for proof that a CoI leads to deep and meaningful learning outcomes.
Keywords: communities of inquiry; CoI; instructor-assessed learning; student learning outcomes; social presence; teaching presence; cognitive presence; instructor coding; student outcomes; higher education; distance learning.
Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2014 Vol.9, No.3, pp.304 - 320
Available online: 14 Nov 2014