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"Text Messaging and the Community of Inquiry in Online Courses" icon

Text Messaging and the Community of Inquiry in Online Courses

Text messaging is emerging as a tool educators are using for multiple purposes in both face-to-face and online courses. This research study investigated the impact of using text messages to convey course information for six online courses, taught by one instructor, as measured by the Community of Inquiry survey. Text messages communicated course information, including reminders of assignment due dates, notification that assignments have been graded, and short feedback on discussion postings. Students completed two surveys for the study; 1) the Community of Inquiry (COI) survey and 2) a survey created by the first author to gather information on student reaction to using text messages in the courses. Overall results indicate that students reacted positively to receiving text messages. COI survey results indicated, however, that there were no significant differences between students who received text messages and students who did not receive text messages in their perception of social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence as represented by the COI framework. This lack of significance may be partially attributable to the instructor's extensive prior experience and success in online teaching.


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