Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Scott W. Brown; Eric Loken; Michael F. Young

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence in online learning within a Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). In addition, the study investigated the impact of individual’s motivational factors on the relationship among the presences. An online survey testing learner’s perceived social presence, teaching presence, cognitive presence, situational interest and online technology self-efficacy was distributed to students who were taking online courses. A follow-up interview process was conducted in order to further interpret the quantitative data. The findings show that within the CoI framework, social presence and teaching presence are both significant predictors of cognitive presence. When motivational factors were added, social presence became no longer significant. In addition, qualitative data revealed that students were satisfied with online courses in general, but expecting more natural social connection and instructor involvement.

Major Advisor

Scott W. Brown