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Learning with Comments: An Analysis of Comments and Community on Stack Overflow

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Title:Learning with Comments: An Analysis of Comments and Community on Stack Overflow
Authors:Sengupta, Subhasree
Haythornthwaite, Caroline
Keywords:Social Networking and Communities
community support
q&a sites
show 1 morevirtual communities
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Date Issued:07 Jan 2020
Abstract:Stack Overflow (SO) has become a primary source for learning how to code, with community features supporting asking and answering questions, upvoting to signify approval of content, and comments to extend questions and answers. While past research has considered the value of posts, often based on upvoting, little has examined the role of comments. Beyond value in explaining code, comments may offer new ways of looking at problems, clarifications of questions or answers, and socially supportive community interactions. To understand the role of comments, a content analysis was conducted to evaluate the key purposes of comments. A coding schema of nine comment categories was developed from open coding on a set of 40 posts and used to classify comments in a larger dataset of 2323 comments from 50 threads over a 6-month period. Results provide insight into the way the comments support learning, knowledge development, and the SO community, and the use and usefulness of the comment feature.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Social Networking and Communities

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