distance education theories

Transactional Distance

online learning is most effective when the perceived pedagogical distance between the instructor and students in the course is minimized with increased interaction; Interaction occurs through learner-instructor communication, learner-learner collaboration, and learner-content engagement. All three levels of interaction have important implications for effective online learning


8 Tips To Minimize Transactional Distance In eLearning








By M. Moore:

Moore, M. (1972). Learner autonomy: The second dimension of independent learning.Convergence, 5, 76-88.

Moore, M. (1973). Toward a theory of independent learning and teaching. Journal of Higher Education, 44, 661-679.

Moore, M. (1993). Theory of transactional distance. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical principles of distance education (pp.22-38).New York: Routledge.

Moore, M. G. (1989). Editorial: Three types of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3 (2), 1-6.

Moore, M. G. (2007). The theory of transactional distance. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of  distance education (2nd ed.), (pp.89-105). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Moore, M. G., (2013). Handbook of distance education (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge

Community of Inquiry (CoI)

The Community of Inquiry theoretical framework focuses on the degree of presence in the online learning environment. Presence is vital to student success in online courses. There are three types of presence that must be maintained: 1. Social presence to increase learners’ sense of community in the online environment, 2. Cognitive presence to enable learners to construct meaning from the online experience, and 3. Teaching presence to increase learner perception of the instructor’s ability to provide structure and direction in the online environment





Community of Inquiry from Phil Ice

peer reviewed:



By Garrison:

Garrison,  D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2013).  The community of inquiry theoretical framework. In M. Moore, Handbook of Distance Education (3 ed.) (pp. 104-119). New York: Routledge.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based

environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2/3), 87-105.

Garrison, D.R. and Arbaugh, J.B. (2007). Researching the Community of Inquiry framework:

Review, issues, and future directions. The Internet and Higher Education 10(3): 157–172 (2007).

Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19, 133-148.

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