During the last decade the research focus on the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework has shifted from social presence to the challenge of engaging in an online inquiry process. Once we defined the cognitive presence construct (practical inquiry), the challenge was to understand how it functioned in an e-learning environment. From the inception of the cognitive presence concept, the question was whether higher-order thinking and discourse could be realized in an asynchronous text-based educational environment. More specifically, could cognitive presence be created in an online environment and could students successfully move through the phases of inquiry that defined cognitive presence? The goal in this chapter is to describe the cognitive presence model and provide an explanation of the nature and quality of practical inquiry conducted in an e-learning environment.