The Community of Inquiry

A man writes on a white board while others look on

The community of inquiry framework offers a helpful perspective for creating an enriching educational experience, whether students attend in-person or remotely. 

What is a Community of Inquiry?

A community of inquiry (COI) is a theoretical framework for online learning research and instructional design that was originally described by D. R. Garrison in the early 1990s. According to Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000), “An educational community of inquiry is a group of individuals who collaboratively engage in powerful critical discourse and reflection to construct personal meaning and confirm mutual understanding.”[1]

Based on John Dewey’s community of inquiry and Mathew Lipman’s concept of critical thinking (1991), COI has been successfully applied and validated online and blended K–12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational settings.

The COI model consists of three separate but integrated elements: social, teaching, and cognitive presence. Click the purple plus signs in the graphic to learn more.





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Designing and Facilitating Dual Modality Courses Copyright © by Cathleen ONeal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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