Integrating Learning Analytics to Measure Message Quality in Large Online Conversations

Eryilmaz, Evren
Thoms, Brian
Ahmed, Zafor
Sandhu, Avneet
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Research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) often employs content analysis as an approach to investigate message quality in asynchronous online discussions using systematic message-coding schemas. Although this approach helps researchers count the frequencies by which students engage in different socio-cognitive actions, it does not explain how students articulate their ideas in categorized messages. This study investigates the effects of a recommender system on the quality of students’ messages from voluminous discussions. We employ learning analytics to produce a quasi-quality index score for each message. Moreover, we examine the relationship between this score and the phases of a popular message-coding schema. Empirical findings show that a custom CSCL environment extended by a recommender system supports students to explore different viewpoints and modify interpretations with higher quasi-quality index scores than students assigned to the control software. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.
Advances in Teaching and Learning Technologies, computer-supported collaborative learning, content analysis, learning analytics, message quality, recommender system
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