An investigation into the Community of Inquiry model in the Malaysian ESL learners’ context

Nagaletchimee Annamalai (School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 18 September 2017



This study aims to explore how the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model (2000) is used to categorize students’ and teachers’ interactions in an asynchronous discussion and how these interactions are able to help students add quality to their narrative writing.


The interactions were categorized based on teaching, social and cognitive presences suggested by the CoI model. Data collection included online archives and students’ narrative essays. Content analysis was performed based on the presences suggested by the CoI model. Scores for the narrative essays were based on Tribble’s (1996) assessment scale.


The findings indicated that the interactions were significantly related to the cognitive, teaching and social presences. However, the cognitive presence indicated a distinctive pattern. As this was a qualitative study, there were emerging themes. The study found that critical thinking was minimal, as the writing task was related to creative thinking.

Research limitations/implications

It is suggested that writing in the online environment should also consider different types of writing.


The emerging themes can be used to enhance and complement the CoI model when used in the Malaysian setting.



Annamalai, N. (2017), "An investigation into the Community of Inquiry model in the Malaysian ESL learners’ context", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 246-263.

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