A Meta-Analysis on the Community of Inquiry Presences and Learning Outcomes in Online and Blended Learning Environments


  • Florence Martin University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • Tong Wu University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • Liyong Wan South-Central University for Nationalities
  • Kui Xie The Ohio State University




Community of Inquiry, Teaching Presence, Cognitive Presence, Social Presence, Online Learning, Blended Learning, Meta-Analysis


The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework describes three essential presences (i.e., teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence) and how these presences interact in providing an educational experience in online and blended learning environments. This meta-analysis examined 19 empirical studies on the CoI Presences (Teaching Presence, Social Presence, and Cognitive Presence) and their correlations with learning outcomes, including actual learning, perceived learning, and satisfaction. It was found that teaching presence and actual learning were moderately positively correlated, (r = .353). There was a weak correlation between cognitive presence and actual learning, (r = .250) and social presence and actual learning, (r = .199). For the correlation between the presences and perceived learning, cognitive presence and perceived learning was found to be strongly correlated, (r = .663), followed by the moderate correlation between social presence and perceived learning (r = .432), and teaching presence and perceived learning, (r = .392). With respect to satisfaction, the correlation between cognitive presence and satisfaction, (r = .586) and between teaching presence and satisfaction was strong, (r = .510), but the correlation between social presence and satisfaction was moderate, (r = .447). The findings have implications for designers and instructors who design and teach online and blended courses to include these presences.

Author Biography

Florence Martin, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Dr. Florence Martin is a Professor in Learning, Design and Technology. She serves as the Program Coordinator of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Learning, Design and Technology concentration and Program Director of the Post-Master’s Certificate of University and College Teaching at University of North Carolina Charlotte. She received her Doctorate and Master's degrees in Educational Technology from Arizona State University.

She teaches courses on Learning, Design and Technology 100% online and has received Quality Matters Certification for six of her courses. She was the first place winner of the Crystal Award from the Division of Distance Learning in Association of Educational Communications and Technology in 2015 which is given to innovative and outstanding multimedia-based distance learning courses.

Dr. Martin engages in research focusing on the effective design of instruction and integration of digital technology to improve learning and performance. Her research has resulted in over 70 publications and 100 presentations. She has conducted several studies focusing on designing and integrating online learning environments to improve learner achievement and engagement.

Dr. Martin was a fellow with the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) in Summer 2016 which is a unique blended-learning leadership development program sponsored by Penn State and the Online Learning Consortium.Dr. Martin served as the President of Multimedia Production Division in 2012-2013 and as the President of the Division of Distance Learning in 2017-2018 for Association for Educational Communications and Technology. She also served as the Vice President for Marketing and Communications with ISPI Charlotte and is currently serving as Director-at-Large for International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction and on the board for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools and is an Associate Editor for the Online Learning Journal.


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Section II