Learning and Satisfaction in Online Communities of Inquiry

Learning and Satisfaction in Online Communities of Inquiry

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-615-2.ch002
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


The purpose of this chapter is to explain the capability of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework as a research model to study student learning and satisfaction. The framework identifies three elements (social, cognitive, and teaching presence) that contribute directly to the success of an e-learning experience through the development of an effective CoI. It is argued that a CoI leads to higher learning and increased satisfaction. The chapter presents findings from two online courses designed using the CoI approach. Overall, the students in these courses had high levels of perceived learning and satisfaction, as well as actual learning outcomes.
Chapter Preview


An important line of research regarding learning online has been the exploration of the challenges and factors affecting the success of students’ learning experiences. For example, Mingming and Evelyn (1999) found eleven factors significantly related to students’ perceived learning:

  • instructor-student interaction,

  • instructor-student communication,

  • instructor evaluation,

  • instructor responses,

  • student-student interaction,

  • student-student communication,

  • online discussion,

  • written assignments,

  • learning style,

  • prior computer competency, and

  • time spent on a course.

However, the most influential factors were students’ perceived interaction with their instructor followed by online discussion.

Similarly, Eom, Wen and Ashill (2006) examined several factors, from course structure to self motivation, as potential determinants of perceived learning outcomes and satisfaction in asynchronous online learning courses. The results showed that only two of them, learning style and instructor feedback, affect perceived learning outcomes.

In terms of satisfaction of an online learning experience, however, there is less consensus. Researchers have identified a wide range of variables associated with satisfaction (Lin & Overbaugh, 2007; Martz, Reddy & Sangermano, 2004; Sahin, 2007; Sun, Tsai, Finger, Chen & Yeh, 2008). The common theme is that instructor support and interaction contribute significantly to learner satisfaction Similarly, it has been shown that small group interaction (Driver, 2002) or collaborative interaction (Jung, Choi, Lim & Leem, 2002; So & Brush, 2008) created higher levels of social presence and satisfaction.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: