Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Student Participation in Online Content-Related Discussion and Its Relation to Students’ Background Knowledge

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I think this is an interesting result: in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL),  "the structure and extension of a student's background knowledge does not explain their activity and role in online discussions." The study (17 page PDF) consists of a social network analysis of online discussions. The sample size is quite small, unfortunately. But the discussion is fascinating, especially the use of McDonnell's method of computing roles in a directed network based on triadic motif-role fingerprints (the paper contains a chart of them). The result is a quite complex analytical description of the roles played by the participants over 6 periods. What would be interesting would be an interpretation of that description - that is, what it means in terms of content and learning - but as the authors write, "our focus is on developing network analysis methods. This would allow us to readily analyze larger data sets in the future without time-consuming and resource-heavy content analysis." This is genuinely leading-edge work.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 21, 2024 10:47 a.m.

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