Analysis of Problem-Solving-Based Online Asynchronous Discussion Pattern

Huei-Tse Hou, Kuo-En Chang, Yao-Ting Sung, Educational Technology & Society, Mar 19, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a somewhat interesting article, based on the analysis of students' unguided problem-solving conversations online. According to the authors, "compared to discussion activity based on a single topic appointed by the teacher, the problem-solving online discussion activity is more helpful for students' knowledge construction." but they also identify areas in which a teacher's intervention could steer the students toward more deep or meaningful conversation. Things I wonder about are whether the same pattern exists outside the classroom (because students may feel 'on stage' in a classroom and therefore perform to expectations) and whether the same pattern applies across media (such as blogging, say).
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