School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gary W Kuhne


Community of Inquiry, Confirmation Bias, Critical Reflection, Online Education, Transformative Learning


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Online and Distance Education | Other Education


To prepare learners for success in the 21st century, institutes of higher education must provide students with meaningful learning opportunities, including participation in discourse and critical reflection. The community of inquiry framework describes the elements necessary to create collaborative, online learning environments, while transformative learning describes the content and outcomes of meaningful learning. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study of 242 online, graduate MBA students from a business school in Maryland, was to measure the relationship between a community of inquiry and transformative learning in online, graduate business courses. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to analyze scores from the Community of Inquiry survey instrument and Reflection Questionnaire to determine if there was a significant relationship between a community of inquiry and transformative learning. Results indicated that a significant relationship existed between a community of inquiry and transformative learning. Specifically, cognitive presence within a community of inquiry was found to be significantly related to both the reflection and critical reflection constructs of transformative learning, and teaching presence was significantly related to the reflection subscale. Future studies can investigate strategies for fostering transformative learning within a community of inquiry in online courses, examine different aspects of transformative learning and their relation to a community of inquiry, and replicate the study in different populations and in different disciplines.