Does gender matter in online courses? A view through the lens of the community of inquiry


  • Moon-Heum Cho Department of Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation, Syracuse University
  • Seongmi Lim Ball State University
  • Jieun Lim Department of Education, Daegu National University of Education
  • Onjoo Kim Department of Education, Sungkyunkwan University



community of inquiry, gender difference, perceived learning, course satisfaction, video-based online learning


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether gender differences exist in relationships between the three presences – teaching, cognitive and social – in the community of inquiry (CoI) model and online students’ learning experiences measured with perceived learning and course satisfaction. Participants were 657 undergraduates taking online courses at a university in South Korea. Results showed significant differences in sub-elements of cognitive and social presence by gender. In addition, regression analyses revealed that sub-elements of the CoI predicted online students’ perceived learning and course satisfaction differently by gender. A discussion explains gender differences in online courses in South Korea in which a prerecorded video was the principal modality of learning. Finally, practical implications to enhance diverse students’ success are proposed from the perspective of the CoI model.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Despite the development of the CoI specifically for a discussion-based online course, it can still be used to predict students’ learning experiences in video-based online learning.
  • Considering gender difference when designing and developing an online course may enhance student learning experiences in online learning.
  • Changing the way the videos are created may contribute to enhancing the three presences in the CoI model, which essentially improve online students’ learning experiences.


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How to Cite

Cho, M.-H. ., Lim, S., Lim, J., & Kim, O. (2022). Does gender matter in online courses? A view through the lens of the community of inquiry. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(6), 169–184.