This chapter introduces this book and the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework that underlies the pedagogical applications described in it. We provide an overview of the learning settings described as communities of inquiry. A community of inquiry is a group of people who come together to learn as a group using scientific approaches characterized by collaborative and individual strategies. The contexts and roots of the collaborative and constructive learning paradigm are also discussed.

The theoretical foundation of this book is the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework. This is the most established digital teaching and learning research framework for analyzing and designing learning experiences. Detailed descriptions of the framework's structure with Teaching Presence, Social Presence, and Cognitive Presence are included here, along with basic concepts, terminology, and empirical analysis tools. We also address some of the conceptual deliberations that surround the existing model.

In the second part of the chapter, we provide an overview of all book chapters. The book is structured with five parts, encompassing a total of 15 chapters providing generic guiding principles, design for specific course conditions, and delivery applications. Chapters report research conducted and/or interpret the theoretical foundations of the practice of designing and delivering digital learning experiences.