The role of learner in an online community of inquiry instructor support for first-time online learners

Martha Cleveland-Innes, Randy Garrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Students experiencing an online educational community for the first time experience adjustment in the role of learner. Findings from a study of adjustment to online learning from the instructor's point of view validate five main areas of adjustment identified in previous research: technology, instructor role, modes of interaction, self-identity and course design. Using a confirmatory research model, instructors from two open and distance institutions were interviewed. Data confirmed that instructors also perceive adjustment in the five areas of online experience identified by students. In addition, student adjustment in these five areas can be understood in light of core dimensions of learner role requirements in an online community of inquiry (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, 2000). Instructor comments provide understanding of the experience of online learners, including the challenges, interventions and resolutions that present themselves as unique incidents. Recommendations for the support and facilitation of adjustment are made. Funding for this research was received from the Athabasca University Mission Critical Research Fund.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWeb-Based Learning Solutions for Communities of Practice
Subtitle of host publicationDeveloping Virtual Environments for Social and Pedagogical Advancement
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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