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Undergraduate Online Courses: Teaching, Cognitive, and Social Presence

Sushma Jolly, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was twofold: to calculate the goodness of fit between the Community of Inquiry framework and the observed variables; and to examine the directional relationships among the three latent variables specified in the model among undergraduate students enrolled in general education via an online learning delivery method. The framework consists of three elements: teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. The 34 item instrument and framework was administered in spring 2017. Participants included undergraduate students enrolled in general education courses delivered online ( n = 277). The study was analyzed using Factor Analysis in order to investigate the utility and the construct validity of the CoI theoretical model as tested by Garrison et al. (2010). Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to analyze the regression weight of teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. The results revealed that CoI was not a good model fit as the three-factor solution did not load cleanly. The four-factor solution does not overly challenge the validity of the CoI model as it splits the three presences into parts yet maintains precincts as hypothesized in the CoI model. Cronbach coefficient alphas for the three subscales of CoI revealed strong reliability. Teaching presence had a coefficient alpha of .94, social presence had a coefficient alpha of .92 and cognitive presence had a coefficient alpha of .94. The results of the structural equation modelling revealed that teaching presence plays a key role and impacts cognitive presence directly and positively. This establishes causal relationships and supports the findings of Garrison et al. (2010); Shea and Bidjerano (2009). The structural equation modelling examined the direct and positive relationship between social presence and cognitive presence. Findings were consistent with the findings of Shea and Bidjerano (2009). The structural equation modelling results revealed social presence mediates teaching presence and cognitive presence. Implications for the future use of the CoI survey and framework are presented.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational technology|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Jolly, Sushma, "Undergraduate Online Courses: Teaching, Cognitive, and Social Presence" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10637881.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10637881

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