From an Online Cohort Towards a Community of Inquiry: International Students’ Interaction Patterns in an Online Doctorate Program
The current study explored the interaction patterns of a cohort of international students in a Professional Doctorate of Higher Education program (EdD) in order to establish the extent to which (if at all) the cohort evolved into an authentic online learning community. Phase 1 of the study consisted of a retrospective audit of three out of the nine modules taught in the program (beginning, middle, and end). The audit explored a cohort of students’ interaction patterns within and between the three modules. In phase two, eight cohort members participated in thorough interviews designed to gain insight into the issues that were identified in phase 1 of the study. Using the Community of Inquiry model, we discovered that a majority of the students did not feel their cohort resembled an authentic online learning community. Although cognitive and teaching presence was evident, social presence was less evident in the modules.