Anatomizing online collaborative inquiry using directional epistemic network analysis and trajectory tracking

Shen BA, Xiao HU, David STEIN, Qingtang LIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Accurate assessment and effective feedback are crucial for cultivating learners' abilities of collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking in online inquiry-based discussions. Based on quantitative content analysis (QCA), there has been a methodological evolvement from descriptive statistics to sequential mining and to network analysis for mining coded discourse data. Epistemic network analysis (ENA) has recently gained increasing recognition for modelling and visualizing the temporal characteristics of online discussions. However, due to methodological restraints, some valuable information regarding online discussion dynamics remains unexplained, including the directionality of connections between theoretical indicators and the trajectory of thinking development. Guided by the community of inquiry (CoI) model, this study extended generic ENA by incorporating directional connections and stanza-based trajectory tracking. By examining the proposed extensions with discussion data of an online learning course, this study first verified that the extensions are comparable with QCA, indicating acceptable assessment validity. Then, the directional ENA revealed that two-way connections between CoI indicators could vary over time and across groups, reflecting different discussion strategies. Furthermore, trajectory tracking effectively detected and visualized the fine-grained progression of thinking. At the end, we summarize several research and practical implications of the ENA extensions for assessing the learning process. Copyright © 2024 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2024

Citation

Ba, S., Hu, X., Stein, D., & Liu, Q. (2024). Anatomizing online collaborative inquiry using directional epistemic network analysis and trajectory tracking. British Journal of Educational Technology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13441

Keywords

  • Community of inquiry
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Learning analytics
  • Online discussion
  • Trajectory tracking

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Anatomizing online collaborative inquiry using directional epistemic network analysis and trajectory tracking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.