The Community of Inquiry Theoretical Framework

Authored by: D. Randy Garrison , Zehra Akyol

Handbook of Distance Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415897648
eBook ISBN: 9780203803738
Adobe ISBN: 9781136635571


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Theoretical interests and developments in the field of distance education have progressed from a preoccupation with organizational and structural barriers to transactional (teaching and learning) concerns (Garrison, 2000). This transformational shift is the result of advances in communications technology coupled with a focus on collaborative-constructivist learning theories (Garrison & Archer, 2000). The transactional era of distance education has been made possible by the capabilities of information and communication technologies (ICT) to create and sustain communities of learners at a distance. The emergence of new asynchronous and synchronous communications technology has made possible collaborative distance education experiences.

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