Student-student online coaching as a relationship of inquiry: An exploratory study from the coach perspective

Stefan Stenbom, Stefan Hrastinski, Martha Cleveland-Innes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


There are comparatively few studies on one-to-one tutoring in online settings, even though it has been found to be an effective model. This paper explores student-student online coaching from the coach perspective. The empirical case is the project Math Coach, where K-12 students are coached by teacher students using instant messaging. This research is an adaptation of the community of inquiry model to an online coaching setting, which we refer to as a relationship of inquiry. The adapted model was used to gain a better understanding of the practice of online coaching by exploring the extent to which cognitive, social, and teaching presence exists in this case of online coaching. A relationship of inquiry survey was distributed to and answered by all active coaches (N = 41). The adapted cognitive, social and teaching presence measures achieved an acceptable level of reliability. Differences between three presences, and their respective sub-categories, demonstrate a unique pattern of interaction between coaches and coachees in the online coaching environment. Findings suggest the online inquiry model fits as well for a relationship of inquiry as it does for a community of inquiry. The model provides valuable information for better understanding of online coaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Asynchronous Learning Network
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Community of inquiry
  • Online coaching
  • Online learning
  • Relationship of inquiry
  • Student-student online coaching


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