Online presence (CoI)

The CoI model (shown below) encompasses three interdependent elements of presences—cognitive, social and teaching—that Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2010) believe are essential for creating meaningful educational experiences. Philosophically, the CoI framework is consistent with Dewey’s view of community and inquiry as a social activity (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2010).

CoI Model – Revised version
COI Model revised version
View the interactive version of the above model
Permission granted to use [Garrison, September 2016]

Social presence is, “the degree to which a person is perceived as a ‘real person’ in mediated communication” (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997, p. 9). Garrison and Akyol (2009) described it as, the ability of participants to identify with the community, communicate purposefully in a trusting environment and develop inter-personal relationships” (p. 24). Social presence research indicates that online learners are able to project their identities, feel the presence of others and create communities to explore issues of common interest (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997).

Cognitive presence is, “the extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication” (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000, p. 89). It is mostly, “associated with the literature and research related to critical thinking” (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001, p. 1) and they claim that it is a major indicator of successful online learning in higher education.

Teaching presence encompasses the, “design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (Anderson, Liam, Garrison, & Archer, 2001, p. 5). Arbaugh and Hwang (2005) believe teaching presence is, “a mechanism for bridging the transactional distance between learner and instructor commonly associated with distance education” (p. 10).

Recommending readings

  • Anderson, T., Liam, R., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in computer conferencing transcripts. Journal of the Asynchronous Learning Network, 5(2).
  • Arbaugh, J. B., Bangert, A., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2010). Subject matter effects and the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework: An exploratory study. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1–2), 37-44. doi:
  • Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2009). Role of instructional technology in the transformation of higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21(1), 19-30. doi:
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text based environment: Computer referencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. doi:
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking and computer conferencing: A model and tool to assess cognitive presence. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 7-23.
  • Gunawardena, C. N., & Zittle, F. J. (1997). Social presence as a predictor of satisfaction within a computer-mediated conferencing environment. The American Journal of Distance Education, 11(3), 8-26.