A network-based analytic approach to uncovering the relationship between social and cognitive presences in communities of inquiry

Vitor Rolim, Rafael Ferreira, Rafael Dueire Lins, Dragan Gašević

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a network-based approach to uncovering the relationship between the elements of social and cognitive presences in a community of inquiry. The paper demonstrates how epistemic network analysis (ENA) can provide new qualitative and quantitative insights into the students' development of social and critical thinking skills in communities of inquiry. More specifically, ENA was used to accomplish three different research goals: i) uncovering links between social and cognitive presences of communities of inquiry; ii) evaluating the effectiveness of two instructional interventions on student experience as measured by connections between cognitive and social presences; and iii) exploring how the relationship between social and cognitive presences changed over time during a course. The proposed approach was applied to the coded transcripts of asynchronous online discussions performed in a fully-online graduate level course. The results of this study showed that indicators of social presence had more association with the exploration and integration phases of cognitive presence. Besides, indicators of the affective category of social presence had stronger links with the two high levels of cognitive presence (i.e., integration and resolution), while indicators of interactive messages of social presence were more connected to the two low levels (triggering events and exploration) of cognitive presence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Community of inquiry
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Model graph-based analysis
  • Online discussion

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