A Focus on Online Discourse
Division C - Learning and Instruction
Section 5: Learning Environments
Scheduled Time: Mon, Apr 11 - 10:35am - 12:05pm Building/Room: Hotel Monteleone
A Focus on Online Discourse
Recommend: A Tool for Identifying Key Ideas in Asynchronous Discourse Environments
*Jim Hewitt (OISE/University of Toronto), Clare M. Brett (OISE/University of Toronto)
Included a “recommend” button (similar to “Like” in Facebook)
Reason – long discussion list, some very simple responses (I agree), hard to find the substantial commentary
The more “Recommended” a note was, the dark blue the link became
Yes – students did return and read note
However, they didn't tend to generate more discussion
Some students didn't use the feature, as the discussions were graded and they felt that by recommending others, they would not get good grades
How do Recommended notes compare to other notes? (12 grad distant ed courses)
Note Length - longer
Sentiment Analysis – tome in positive to negative
Objectivity - higher
Academic Vocabulary - more
However, these are not the ones students most like to read. They prefer shorter, but they realize that these have the good ideas
Notes with more responses – positive, more sentimental (feeling based)
Notes that students respond to are not the ones they identify as valuable. How can we move students toward responding to valuable ideas, not just emotional responses.
The Power of a Synthesizer Role in Online Discussion Forums: Encouraging Midway Summaries Drives the Knowledge Construction Process
*Alyssa F. Wise (Simon Fraser University), *Ming M. Chiu (University at Buffalo - SUNY)
How do you get students to build on each other's ideas?
Low level discussions tend to be the norm – ideas are thrown out, but not wrestled with
Summarizing posts contribute to knowledge construction (Gunawardena et al 1997)
But tend not to happen until the end.
(Gunawardena et al 1997)Phases – sharing info, exploring dissonance, negotiating meaning, testing/modifying, agreeing/applying
How to you move through the phases
Focus on pivotal posts
Phase 2 - When someone states “I don't agree with … because”
Phase 3 – “if we can define “expert” as …. then
Phase 4 – How would... work as”
Emerging themes in collaborative learning
Process – it isn't just an individual post
Temporal dimension – dynamic flow of interactions over time and how micro-mes time context
Connecting levels – Examining how individuals effect the group
There are some typical patterns. Which patterns support moving through the phases
In the study – the students rotated through 10 different online roles – including a “synthesizer”
60% of post are phase 1 – sharing information
Most discussions have 1 pivotal post (at about 15th) out of 20 posts – but the continued post move to phase 5
What causes pivotal posts – the extensive summary of previous posts and synthesizing other's ideas
Generally, there are not regressions in the phases. However, some phases are skipped.
Found a progression patterns – focused on phases 1,3 &5
There is a pivotal post (which was the manipulation in this study) but it does push the discussion to deeper conversation
Timing of discussion contributions is important (the synthesizer needs to be in the middle)
Synthesizer – and other roles, can be a way to promote deeper conversation
We need to continue to look at how to be more critical within postings
Added to the methodology of studying online discussions - moving from individual to group levels, coding, empirically testing the knowledge construction model
Ways of Contributing to a Knowledge-Building Dialogue in Grade Four
*Maria Chuy (University of Toronto), Marlene Scardamalia (OISE/University of Toronto), Monica Resendes (University of Toronto)
Role of science is rising, but student interest in science is decreasing
Theory building and understanding is the basis of science
How can this be done in elementary classrooms?
We know that much of it comes through dialogue – questions, criticism
Found a site that used Knowledge-Building (Scardamalia and Bereiter, 2003) and Knowledge Forum (Scardamalia, 2004)
Explanatory Questions – why does it happen and how does it work
Design Questions – how can we prove or test
Supporting an explanation
Improving an explanation
Seeking alternative explanation
Designing an experiment
Proposing an experiment
Identifying a design experiment
Thinking of design improvement
Working with evidence
Looking for evidence
Providing reference to evidence
Providing reasons to abandon evidence
Finding new evidence
Using all available ideas
Initiating a “rise-above” note
Identify new question – new directions
Drawing on others
Which ways of contributing are the most popular in a knowledge-Building classroom?
Working with evidence
Are there individuals who were stronger at contributing?
Most students contributed equally – not a single, overwhelming leader
Teacher was the facilitator – through questions – how do you know? Which led to the students working on theorizing and finding evidence.
Therefore – good questions are the right time in the right form is extremely important to support knowledge-Building in students.
Collective knowledge building – student work together
Reading for Idea Advancement in a Grade 4 Knowledge-Building Community
*Jianwei Zhang (University at Albany - SUNY), Yanqing Sun (University at Albany – SUNY)
Optics and light investigation using Knowledge Forum
Practice thinking and working like a scientist in ways that scientist gain background knowledge (dissemination of knowledge) through literacy.
Reading is a community act in knowledge-building communities – to add to the group's knowledge, not just for individual gain.
Reading is for progressive problem solving – posing questions and finding answers
Reading is embedded in knowledge-Building discourse – a place to find information, and also to propose investigations
Reading is a dialogue between the local knowledge and world knowledge
Reading involves active inquiry and processing
Level and scope of inquiry is increased by dynamic social knowledge-building communities