The Relationships Between Students’ Perceived Learning Styles and the Community of Inquiry Presences in a Graduate Online Course
In this paper, the author examined whether there is any correlation between students’ perceived learning styles as identified by Felder and Silverman (2002) and each of the three presences of the Garrison et al.’s Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (2000): the teaching presence, the social presence and the cognitive presence. First, the CoI survey was administered to a sample of Master’s students (N=24) at the University Mohamed First in Morocco. Then transcript analysis of online discussion postings was investigated to explore the links of the three presences of the CoI framework with students’ self-perceptions of personal learning style preferences. Analysis of the data collected from these instruments revealed significant relationships between students’ perceived learning styles with regard to some domains of the Felder and Silverman’s model and only two presences of the CoI framework: the social and cognitive presences. The findings have important implications for how to design online courses in a way that fits students’ needs and thus foster effective learning.