The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the instructor posting in online discussions as a simulated student; particularly the impact simulated student interaction (SSI) had on the instructor/student relationship. Student perceptions were examined using a modified version of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey to determine what impact SSI had on teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence within the online classroom. The full 34 item CoI Survey was piloted in the summer of 2014 at a small comprehensive university located in northeast Texas. A factor analysis was conducted on the data and the top items from each factor in the instrument extracted. The resulting 17 item instrument demonstrated both validity and reliability. This modified CoI Survey was used in the fall of 2014 with three special education courses making up a control group and an intervention group in a pre-post experimental design. An ANOVA was performed to compare the results of the pre-course and post-course surveys by group. The ANOVA showed a statistically significant difference for all three factors for the intervention group between the pre- and post-course survey, while no significance between surveys was shown for the control group.



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