Anne Doring

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2015


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Misook Heo

Committee Member

Sue Alman

Committee Member

Gibbs Kanyongo


Knowledge Management, Learning Management System, Online learning


The purpose of this study was to examine whether the CoI framework can predict self-reported knowledge sharing behaviors within graduate-level online courses. The overall goal was to determine if high levels of social, teaching, and cognitive presence can lead to increased knowledge distribution within online learning environments, leading to the co-construction of knowledge among learners. As part of the study, graduate students from the field of education were asked to complete a survey, which combined Swan et al.'s (2008) CoI survey instrument and Yu, Lu, & Liu's (2010) knowledge sharing survey tool. The survey assessed students' perceptions of social, teaching, and cognitive presence within their respective online courses, and also measured their knowledge sharing behavior within these same courses. The independent variables were totaled scores of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence. The dependent variable was the totaled score of knowledge sharing behavior.

A standard multiple regression design was utilized to determine whether the independent variables (social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence) are predictors of the dependent variable (knowledge sharing behavior). Regression results indicated that an overall model with two independent variables - teaching presence and social presence - significantly predicts knowledge sharing behavior, R2 = .637, R2adj=.615, F(2, 33) = 29.001, p < .001. Cognitive presence, however, was not shown to significantly contribute to this model. In line with existing theories - including social capital theory, the organization knowledge creation theory (OKCT), and self-determination theory - results suggest that the more social elements of the CoI framework might better motivate students to interact and share knowledge. On the other hand, cognitive presence, which is more closely tied to individual learning outcomes, plays a smaller role in motivating students to participate and share knowledge within online learning environments.