Designing Asynchronous Online Discussion Forum Interface and Interaction Based on the Community of Inquiry Framework

  • Lintang Matahari Hasani Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia
  • Harry Budi Santoso Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia
  • Kasiyah Junus Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia
Keywords: community of inquiry, interaction design, e-learning, user-centered design


The community of inquiry (CoI) framework describes a process for creating collaborative learning through three elements or presences: social, cognitive, and teaching. Despite its popularity among researchers and practitioners, use of the CoI model is limited to mapping instructional activities, which are yet to be developed into an interaction design for online collaborative learning intended to support the CoI presences. This study was aimed at developing the interaction design of an asynchronous online discussion forum employing a user-centered design method contextualized to the learning-centered design approach. Seven scenario and user interfaces were created to facilitate one introductory activity and four phases of inquiry. The design was evaluated through contextual interviews with ten students. The interviews revealed that the prototype encouraged and supported (a) introductory activity (social presence), (b) idea exploration (cognitive presence), (c) summarizing the discussion (cognitive presence), and (d) facilitating discussion (teaching presence). Future research could be aimed at improving the proposed design based on recommendations and developing a fully functional working system to be tested in real settings.


Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The theory and practice of online learning. Athabasca University Press.

Aparicio, M., Bacao, F., & Oliveira, T. (2016). An e-learning theoretical framework. Educational Technology & Society, 19(1), 292–307.

Athabasca University, Centre for Distance Education. (2021). About the framework: An introduction to the community of inquiry.

Bransford, J. D., Brown A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school: Expanded edition. National Academy Press.

Dhar, D., & Yammiyavar, P. (2012). Design approach for e-learning systems: Should it be user centered or learner centered. In S. Murthy & D. Sampson (Eds.), Proceedings: 2012 IEEE fourth international conference on technology for education (pp. 239–240). IEEE.

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2018). Online educators’ recommendations for teaching online: Crowdsourcing in action. Open Praxis, 10(1), 79–89.

Faisal, T. A., Junus, K., & Santoso, H. B. (2020). Development of the online collaborative summarizing feature on student-centered e-learning environment. In S. Yazid (Chair), Proceedings: ICACSIS 2019: 11th international conference on advanced computer science and information systems, (pp. 435–440). IEEE.

Fiock, H. S. (2020). Designing a community of inquiry in online courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 21(1), 135–153.

Garrison, D. R. (2016). Thinking collaboratively: Learning in a community of inquiry. Routledge.

Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Routledge.

Garrison, D. R., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. Internet and Higher Education 10(3), 157–172.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2), 87–105.

Hendry, G. D., Frommer, M., & Walker, R. A. (1999). Constructivism and problem-based learning. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 23(3), 369–371.

Junus, K., Suhartanto, H., Suradijono, S. H. R., Santoso, H. B., & Sadita, L. (2019). The community of inquiry model training using the cognitive apprenticeship approach to improve students’ learning strategy in the asynchronous discussion forum. Journal of Educators Online, 16(1), 1–17.

Laal, M., Laal, M., & Kermanshahi, Z. (2012). 21st century learning: Learning in collaboration. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 1696–1701.

Lazar, J., Feng, J. H., & Hochheiser, H. (2017). Research methods in human-computer interaction (2nd Edition). Morgan Kaufmann.

Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in education (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Nielsen, J. (2020, November 15). 10 Usability heuristics for user interface design. NN/g Nielsen Norman Group.

Nielsen, J. (2012, January 3). Usability 101: Introduction to usability. NN/g Nielsen Norman Group.

Sangrà, A., Vlachopoulos, D., & Cabrera, N. (2012). Building an inclusive definition of e-learning: An approach to the conceptual framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 145–159.

Sharp, H., Preece, J., & Rogers, Y. (2019). Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction (5th ed.). Wiley.

Shea, P., Hayes, S., Vickers, J., Gozza-Cohen, M., Uzuner, S., Mehta, R., & Rangan, P. (2010). A re-examination of the community of inquiry framework: Social network and content analysis. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 10-21.

Shneiderman, B., & Plaisant, C. (2005). Designing the user interface: Strategies for effective human-computer interaction (4th ed.). Pearson Education.

Stephens, G. E., & Roberts, K. L. (2017). Facilitating collaboration in online groups. Journal of Educators Online, 14(1), 1–16.

Stewart, M. K. (2017). Communities of inquiry: A heuristic for designing and assessing interactive learning activities in technology-mediated FYC. Computers and Composition, 45, 67–84.

Sun, Y., Franklin, T., & Gao, F. (2015). Learning outside of classroom: Exploring the active part of an informal online English learning community in China. Visual Communication and Technology Education Faculty Publications, 38.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). User-centered design basics. In The research-based web design and usability guidelines, enlarged/expanded edition.

Valverde-Berrocoso, J., Garrido-Arroyo, M. d. C., Burgos-Videla, C., & Morales-Cevallos, M. B. (2020). Trends in educational research about e-learning: A systematic literature review (2009–2018). Sustainability, 12(12), 5153.

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, R. D. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca University Press.

How to Cite
Hasani, L. M., Santoso, H. B., & Junus, K. (2022). Designing Asynchronous Online Discussion Forum Interface and Interaction Based on the Community of Inquiry Framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 23(2), 191-213.
Research Articles