Message responsiveness during online discussions

Gaowei CHEN, Chung Kwan LO, Liru HU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Students are increasingly learning via online academic discussions, posting messages in an attempt to discuss their learning problems. However, many messages often do not receive responses. This paper aims to understand the relationship between the characteristics of message content and the corresponding message responsiveness. We randomly sampled 140 topics from a high school mathematics online discussion forum and analysed 1,559 reply messages using multilevel logistic regressions at the topic and message level. It was found that a message that either expressed a disagreement, a correct idea or a wrong idea or asked a question was more likely to receive a response. Time was another significant predictor of a message’s responsiveness, in that messages posted earlier in a discussion or users that responded more promptly were more likely to receive a response. The findings contribute to the understanding of the discourse processes and students’ learning behaviour in online academic discussions. Copyright © 2020 ISLS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020
Place of PublicationNashville, TN
PublisherInternational Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
ISBN (Print)9781732467255
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Chen, G., Lo, C. K., & Hu, L. (2020). Message responsiveness during online discussions. In Gresalf, M. & Horn, I. S. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020 (Vol.1, pp. 130-137). Nashville, TN: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).


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