Vol. 37 No. 1 (2022)
Research Articles

Education as community affair: Digitally designing knowledge.

Paul Leslie
Queen's University
Celiane Camargo-Borges
Breda University of Applied Sciences
Published May 11, 2022
How to Cite
Leslie, P., & Camargo-Borges, C. (2022). Education as community affair: Digitally designing knowledge. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.55667/ijede.2022.v37.i1.1219


Distance learning is becoming increasingly prevalent. If education is a community affair, how do we digitally design for our students the conditions for learning at a distance? This research examines a distance learning environment within a Master’s Degree course created using online discussion forums. With the community of inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) as a guide, the instructor and students shared knowledge and experiences with their educational community. A structural analysis of the discussion forums a quantitative analysis of social, teaching and cognitive presence using a ten-factor model (Dempsey & Zhang, 2019), and a qualitative analysis of individual interviews with community members, found that the role of the instructor is critical in pushing students towards uncertainty, thus opening the way for the relational construction of knowledge. To help students embrace that uncertainty, they require explicit knowledge of the processes that allow a community of inquiry to function.


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