Re-examining the Construct Validity and Causal Relationships of Teaching, Cognitive and Social Presence in Community of Inquiry Framework
KeywordsEducation, Instructional Design
community of inquiry, structural equation modelling, online education
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AbstractDespite the prevalence of research on the community of inquiry framework and its associated measurement instrument, more research is needed to re-evaluate the factor structure, study the effects of covariates or measurement invariance, and explore the relationships amongst the three presences. Results of this study indicated that (a) teaching, social, and cognitive presence are each multidimensional and higher-order constructs; (b) measurement invariance was fully achieved for gender and partially for age, ethnicity, discipline, and online experience; (c) structural relationships of the three main constructs—teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence—suggested potential psychometric adjustments. The teaching presence construct in particular should be reconstructed to appropriately reflect and measure the construct as conceptually defined—as a distribution of teaching responsibility and authority—as opposed to how it is currently operationalized in the community of inquiry instrument—as a centralization of responsibility and authority with the instructor.