Topic The Five Stage Model v the COI Framework
  • Both frameworks have been developed to enhance the online learning environment. 
  • The models both break up learning into steps or elements.
  • There is a focus on collaboration in both models 
  • Both models involve the learning theory of constructivism
Differences Purpose

The Five Stage Model focuses on the process of online learning, specifically in terms of how learners engage. It progresses through five different stages of development: Access and Motivation, Online Socialization, Information Exchange, Knowledge Construction, and Development.

The COI framework is centered around the notion of a “community of inquiry,” emphasizing the importance of social, cognitive, and teaching presence in online learning environments. It identifies three presences: social presence (interpersonal interaction and communication), cognitive presence (the process of constructing meaning and knowledge), and teaching presence (the design, facilitation, and direction of the educational experience).


The Five Stage Model offers a structured approach to designing and facilitating online learning experiences (Salmon, 2006, p. 39). Educators can use this model to plan and scaffold activities that support learners at each stage of development, ensuring a smooth progression toward deeper understanding and engagement.

The COI Framework: Provides a framework for understanding and assessing the quality of online learning experiences (Garrison, 2007, p. 61). Educators can use this framework to evaluate the degree to which social, cognitive, and teaching presences are present and effectively integrated within their courses, guiding improvements in course design and facilitation.

Additional strategy to apply to my practice Regarding stage 1 (Access and Motivation) (Salmon, G. 2006, p. 40), I would employ a strategy to have screencasting videos showing students how to access and use technology. New technologies can be very stressful to try and figure out on your own, and the stress of academics will compound your emotional response. It is essential to support the students through their technological journey to succeed in their academic journey. As such, adding quick videos of how to use the technology can be invaluable. 




Garrison, D. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: social, cognitive, and teaching 

presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11 (1), 61-72. Retrieved 



Salmon, G. (2006). 80:20 for e-moderators. In: The challenge of ecompetence in academic staff 

development . CELT, NUI Galway, Galway, Republic of Ireland, pp. 145-154. Retrieved