Communities of inquiry in curriculum approach to online learning: Strengths and limitations in context

Trudi Cooper, Rebecca Scriven


The case study discussed in this article examines how the community of inquiry (CoI) model (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2010) was used to redesign the digital learning environment in the context of an Australian university. Some purposes were to replicate features of a traditional classroom and to support collaboration between professionals with different expertise. The discussion addresses three questions. Firstly, how useful was the CoI model in context and to what extent was the success (or failure) of the redevelopment attributable to the CoI? Secondly, what are the implications for current debates about the CoI model? Thirdly, what are the emergent issues and areas for future research? The paper concludes that the CoI model was useful as a communication and design heuristic rather than as a model that makes universal truth claims about the world.


Community of Inquiry (COI); curriculum; university; evaluation

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