Student-Student Online Coaching as a Relationship of Inquiry: An Exploratory Study from the Coach Perspective
There are comparatively few studies on one-to-one tutoring in online settings, even though it has been found to be an effective model. This paper explores student-student online coaching from the coach perspective. The empirical case is the project Math Coach, where K-12 students are coached by teacher students using instant messaging. This research is an adaptation of the community of inquiry model to an online coaching setting, which we refer to as a relationship of inquiry. The adapted model was used to gain a better understanding of the practice of online coaching by exploring the extent to which cognitive, social, and teaching presence exists in this case of online coaching. A relationship of inquiry survey was distributed to and answered by all active coaches (N = 41). The adapted cognitive, social and teaching presence measures achieved an acceptable level of reliability. Differences between three presences, and their respective sub-categories, demonstrate a unique pattern of interaction between coaches and coachees in the online coaching environment. Findings suggest the online inquiry model fits as well for a relationship of inquiry as it does for a community of inquiry. The model provides valuable information for better understanding of online coaching.