Computer mediated discussions: Effects of the previous messages' evaluations, knowledge content, social cues and personal information on the current message

Gaowei CHEN, Ming Ming CHIU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This study of the flow of online discussions examined how previous messages affected the current message along five dimensions: (1) evaluations (agreement, disagreement, or unresponsive actions); (2) knowledge content (contribution, repetition, or null content); (3) social cues (positive, negative, or none); (4) personal information (number of visits); and (5) elicitation (eliciting response or not). Using dynamic multilevel analysis (DMA) and a structural equation model (SEM), this study analyzed 131 messages of 47 participants across seven topics in the mathematics forum of a university Bulletin Board System (BBS) Website. Results showed that a disagreement or contribution in the previous message yielded more disagreements and social cue displays in the current message. Unlike face-to-face discussions, online discussion messages that disagreed with a previous message elicited more responses. Together, these results suggest that teachers can use and manage online discussions to promote critical thinking, facilitate discussion of controversial topics, and reduce status effects. Copyright © 2008 International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICLS’08 Proceedings of the 8th international conference on International conference for the learning sciences
Place of PublicationChicago
PublisherInternational Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Pages128-135
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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evaluation
multi-level analysis
bulletin
structural model
website
mathematics
university
teacher
science
learning
Society

Citation

Chen, G., & Chiu, M. M. (2008). Computer mediated discussions: Effects of the previous messages' evaluations, knowledge content, social cues and personal information on the current message. In ICLS’08 Proceedings of the 8th international conference on International conference for the learning sciences (Vols. 1, pp. 128-135). Chicago: International Society of the Learning Sciences.