Course Delivery

While teaching and delivering your online course, it is important to keep in mind the students' experiences. Below is culmination of research which resulted in a model called the Community of Inquiry (CoI).  Researchers who developed the model examined elements that contributed to a successful and satisfying online learning experience.  They developed a framework using the concepts of teaching presence, social presence, and content presence.  The following outlines the framework from the perspective of the student.

Teaching Presence

Design & Organization

  • The instructor clearly communicated important course topics.
  • The instructor clearly communicated important course goals.
  • The instructor provided clear instructions on how to participate in course learning activities.
  • The instructor clearly communicated important due dates/time frames for learning activities.


  • The instructor was helpful in identifying areas of agreement and disagreement on course topics that helped me to learn.
  • The instructor was helpful in guiding the class towards understanding course topics in a way that helped me clarify my thinking.
  • The instructor helped to keep course participants engaged and participating in productive dialogue.
  • The instructor helped keep the course participants on task in a way that helped me to learn.
  • The instructor encouraged course participants to explore new concepts in this course.
  • Instructor actions reinforced the development of a sense of community among course participants.

Direct Instruction

  • The instructor helped to focus discussion on relevant issues in a way that helped me to learn.
  • The instructor provided feedback that helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses.
  • The instructor provided feedback in a timely fashion.

Social Presence

Affective Expression

  • Getting to know other course participants gave me a sense of belonging in the course.
  • I was able to form distinct impressions of some course participants.
  • Online or web-based communication is an excellent medium for social interaction.

Open Communication

  • I felt comfortable conversing through the online medium.
  • I felt comfortable participating in the course discussions.
  • I felt comfortable interacting with other course participants.

Group Cohesion

  • I felt comfortable disagreeing with other course participants while still maintaining a sense of trust.
  • I felt that my point of view was acknowledged by other course participants.
  • Online discussions help me to develop a sense of collaboration.

Cognitive Presence

Triggering Event

  • Problems posed increased my interest in course issues.
  • Course activities piqued my curiosity.
  • I felt motivated to explore content related questions.


  • I utilized a variety of information sources to explore problems posed in this course.
  • Brainstorming and finding relevant information helped me resolve content related questions.
  • Online discussions were valuable in helping me appreciate different perspectives.


  • Combining new information helped me answer questions raised in course activities.
  • Learning activities helped me construct explanations/solutions.
  • Reflection on course content and discussions helped me understand fundamental concepts in this class.


  • I can describe ways to test and apply the knowledge created in this course.
  • I have developed solutions to course problems that can be applied in practice.
  • I can apply the knowledge created in this course to my work or other non-class related activities.