Vol. 23 No. 2 (2009)

A Response to the Review of the Community of Inquiry Framework

Zehra Akyol
Middle East Technical University
J. Ben Arbaugh
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Marti Cleveland-Innes
Athabasca University
D. Randy Garrison
University of Calgary
Phil Ice
American Public University
Jennifer C. Richardson
Purdue University
Karen Swan
University of Illinois Springfield
Published July 15, 2009
  • community of inquiry,
  • online learning,
  • cognitive presence


The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework has become a prominent model of teaching and learning in online and blended learning environments. Considerable research has been conducted which employs the framework with promising results, resulting in wide use to inform the practice of online and blended teaching and learning. For the CoI model to continue to grow and evolve, constructive critiques and debates are extremely beneficial, in so much as they identify potential problems and weaknesses in the model or its application as well as provide direction for further research. In this context, the CoI framework was recently reviewed and critiqued by Rourke and Kanuka in their JDE article entitled “Learning in Communities of Inquiry: A Review of the Literature.” This paper is a response to this article and focuses on two main issues. The first issue is the focus of the review and critique on learning outcomes. The second issue concerns the representation, comprehensiveness, and methodology of the review.