in: Educational Communities of Inquiry: Theoretical Framework, Research and Practice, Z. Akyol & A. Garrison, Editor, IGI Global, Pennsylvania, pp.45-65, 2012
The purpose of this chapter is to explain the role and place of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework within the history of distance education. The review of the history reveals two important factors for changes in distance education: the effect of leading learning theories of each era and technological advancements. Distance education has moved from a behavioristic, teacher–centered, correspondence study concept, first to an independent learning model, and then to the current student-centered, socio-constructivist and community-based online learning. In this latest era, the post-modernist age, the CoI framework provides online instructors with a functional framework for designing and teaching their courses more effectively. A review of literature as shared in this chapter has also shown CoI to be a robust framework for research.