Re-engineering the Pedagogical Design of Virtual Classrooms in Higher Education using the Community of Inquiry Framework: Benefits, Challenges, and Lessons Learned


  • Abdurrahman Ghaleb Almekhlafi
  • Hamdy A. Abdelaziz
  • Mohamad S. Shaban


Community of Inquiry, higher education; pedagogical planning and design; Virtual classroom


The demand for online learning is increasing yearly in higher education and training industries worldwide. To sustain this demand, online course design and delivery quality became a critical topic for research and investigation. This study aimed to reimagine the pedagogical planning and design for virtual classrooms in a higher education institution based on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. To achieve this goal, the researcher adopted the type 2 developmental research methods to reimagine the pedagogical planning and design for a virtual classroom considering the interconnectedness of the CoI dimensions: Cognitive Presence, Teaching Presence, and Social Presence. In addition, a closed and open-ended questionnaire was developed based on the CoI framework and employed to gather instructors' views on the benefits and challenges of utilizing a virtual classroom designed based on the CoI dimensions. The results showed that instructors had a favourable view of the benefits of virtual classrooms for delivering course content. They also reported several challenges that need to be addressed for using virtual classrooms. Study findings highlight the importance of offering customized training to instructors by higher education institutions on the best practices of virtual classrooms. In addition, findings showed the crucial role of pedagogical frameworks such as CoI for the effective design of learning activities tailored to teaching via virtual classrooms.


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