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The Community of Inquiry Framework Meets the SOLO Taxonomy: A Process-Product Model of Online Learning

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Educational Media International Volume 48, Number 2, ISSN 0952-3987


This paper presents both a conceptual and empirical investigation of teaching and learning in online courses. Employing both the Community of Inquiry framework (CoI) and the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy, two complete online courses were examined for the quality of both collaborative learning processes and learning outcomes. The study examines evidence beyond learner reported satisfaction and learning, instead measuring both learning inputs and outcomes. Analysis of input includes quantitative content analysis of discussions using the CoI framework. Analysis of outcomes looks at both the quality of student learning artifacts such as case studies using the SOLO taxonomy as well as instructor-assigned grades of specific related assignments. Results suggest that understanding of online instructional effort, processes, and learning outcomes can be improved through this more comprehensive, conceptually driven approach. (Contains 12 tables.)


Shea, P., Gozza-Cohen, M., Uzuner, S., Mehta, R., Valtcheva, A.V., Hayes, S. & Vickers, J. (2011). The Community of Inquiry Framework Meets the SOLO Taxonomy: A Process-Product Model of Online Learning. Educational Media International, 48(2), 101-113. Retrieved May 19, 2019 from .

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