Discussion processes in online forums

Gaowei CHEN, Ming Ming CHIU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Online discussions' information transparency, communication flexibility and opportunities for reflection, can enhance information processing, higher order thinking and learning. Many group processes influence online discussants' creation of correct, new ideas (micro-creativity) and use of social cues. New ideas, justifications, disagreements and questions in recent messages facilitate micro-creativity. Moreover, new ideas and justifications tend to reduce both positive and negative social cues during online discussions. While agreements elicit positive social cues, disagreements invite negative ones. Meanwhile, participants with more past posts than others often show more micro-creativity. Together, these mechanisms show how sequences of online messages create a local context that influences participants' correct outcomes and social relationships. By understanding these discussion processes, designers can improve online forum interfaces, and educators can help students participate, cooperate and learn in online forums more effectively. Copyright © 2018 IGI Global.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of information science and technology
Place of PublicationHershey
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Electronic)9781522522560
ISBN (Print)9781522522553, 1522522557
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Chen, G., & Chiu, M. M. (2018). Discussion processes in online forums. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of information science and technology (4 ed., pp. 7969-7979). Hershey: IGI Global.


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