Comparing communities of inquiry of Portuguese higher education students: one for all or one for each?

Jose António Moreira, António Gomes Ferreira, Ana Cristina Almeida


The purpose of this study was to report evidence obtained in a survey based on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 1991; 2000) carried out in different groups. The study comprised 510 higher education students enrolled in blended online courses offered through Moodle platform during one semester. It considered students from different private and public Portuguese polytechnic schools and universities. Moreira & Almeida (2011) have suggested that CoI framework is a valid, reliable, and efficient measure of its dimensions within the Portuguese population. Although similarities in aspects of social presence were discovered among polytechnic and universities students, the two groups showed some differences. In particular, it was observed that the polytechnic students appear to be a more robust community when compared to university students.


Blended Learning; Community of Inquiry; Learning Community; Online Learning; Polytechnic; University

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