Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education
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The internet and higher education 2 (2): 87-105 (1999)

The purpose of this study is to provide conceptual order and a tool for the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and computer conferencing in supporting an educational experience. Central to the study introduced here is a model of community inquiry that constitutes three elements essential to an educational transaction—cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. Indicators (key words/phrases) for each of the three elements emerged from the analysis of computer-conferencing transcripts. The indicators described represent a template or tool for researchers to analyze written transcripts, as well as a guide to educators for the optimal use of computer conferencing as a medium to facilitate an educational transaction. This research would suggest that computer conferencing has considerable potential to create a community of inquiry for educational purposes.
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