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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: A Constructive, Conceptual Analytical Review of the Community of Inquiry Framework
Authors: Peacock, Susi
Supervisor(s): Brosnan, Kevin
Field, John
Keywords: online learning
community of inquiry
social presence
cognitive presence
teaching presence
critical thinking
student-centred learning
PhD by publication
Issue Date: Jun-2015
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: PEACOCK, S., GORDON, L., MURRAY, S., MORSS, K. and DUNLOP, G., 2010. Tutor response to implementing an ePortfolio to support learning and personal development in further and higher education institutions in Scotland. British Journal of Educational Technology. vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 827-851.
PEACOCK, S. and HOOPER, J., 2007. E-learning in physiotherapy education. Physiotherapy. September, vol. 93, no. 3, pp. 218-228.
PEACOCK, S., MORSS, K., SCOTT, A., HISLOP, J., IRVINE, L., MURRAY, S. and GIRDLER, S.T. 2010. Using ePortfolios in higher education to encourage learner reflection and support personalised learning. In: J.O’DONOGHUE, ed. Technology-supported environments for personalized-learning: methods and case studies. New York: Information Science Reference, pp. 185-211.
PEACOCK, S., MURRAY, S., DEAN, J., BROWN, D., GIRDLER, S. and MASTROMINICO, B., 2012. Exploring tutor and student experiences in Online Synchronous Learning Environments in the Performing Arts. Creative Education. vol. 3, no. 7, pp. 1269-1280.
PEACOCK, S., 2014. A conceptual interrogation of the potential of the Community of Inquiry Framework to inform faculty implementation of communication technologies in an intensely rich digital learning environment [online]. In: P. BLESSINGER, J. ANCHAN, and B. COZZA, eds. Proceedings of the 2nd International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference: Innovative, Learning-Scapes, e-Scapes, Playscapes and More. Higher Education Teaching and Learning. [viewed 26 March 2015]. Available from:
PEACOCK, S., SCOTT, A., MURRAY, S. and MORSS, K., 2012. Using feedback and ePortfolios to support professional competence in healthcare learners. Research into Higher Education Journal. vol. 16, pp. 1-23.
Abstract: This thesis comprises a critical review and suggestions for enhancement of the Community of Inquiry Framework (CoIF), the frequently cited model of collaborative community-based online learning. It combines a systematic engagement of relevant literature and research, with the application of the CoIF thinking to six of my peer-reviewed publications. Although not initially conceived as forming part of a doctorate submission, these publications are drawn upon throughout this narrative, to assist my interrogation of the CoIF. They are also used to provide evidence of my continuing journey as an education researcher. This thesis is therefore not an exegesis – a traditional meta-narrative encompassing this candidate’s publications. It moves beyond my findings in the publications to create and present supplementary concepts, and develop pointed guidance about using the Framework in supporting online learning in tertiary education. My review first critically interrogates the three constituent elements or Presences of the CoIF. Social presence emerges as a highly complex and multi-faceted construct, in which the de-emphasising of the affective in the CoIF seems at variance with current research reporting the strong student emotional response to working online, and particularly in collaborative, community-based groupings. Then, in Cognitive presence, there has been little consideration of, and specificity about, reflection in the CoIF. My critique proposes that reflection and critical thinking are distinct but inter-related concepts; both of which need to be addressed. Teaching presence is renamed ‘Tutoring presence’ informed by my review based upon my emergent understandings of student-centred learning. Two enhancements to the CoIF are then proposed, together with the rationale for establishment of a Tutors’ Network. The first enhancement, referred to as 'the Influences,’ unites and enriches the individual Presences. The second argues for the existence and use of a personal learning retreat at the heart of a community of inquiry, addressing a perceived omission in the CoIF. This learner ‘space’ provides a ‘quiet, safe place’ for the private (internal) world of the learner, as a foil to the shared collaborative space in the CoIF (the external world). Finally, a Tutors’ Network is outlined as a vehicle for advancing their understandings and knowledge of online, collaborative, community-based learning in general, and in particular of communities of inquiry. This should develop the abilities of online tutors, improve their learners’ educational experiences and encourage research and scholarship into the CoIF.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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