How Habitual Online Practices Affect the Development of Asynchronous Discussion Threads

  title={How Habitual Online Practices Affect the Development of Asynchronous Discussion Threads},
  author={Jim Hewitt},
  journal={Journal of Educational Computing Research},
  pages={31 - 45}
  • Jim Hewitt
  • Published 1 January 2003
  • Psychology
  • Journal of Educational Computing Research
In the past, there has been an implicit assumption that discussion threads in distance education courses develop according to the needs and interests of conference participants, the requirements of the course, and the nature of the instructor's online facilitation. The findings in this article suggest that other factors may also be at play. A large-scale analysis of threads and their growth patterns reveals a bias in favor of elongated note structures. This bias is explained by a tendency for… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Toward an Understanding of How Threads Die in Asynchronous Computer Conferences
The following research examines how and why discussions shut down during computer conferencing sessions, and considers strategies for limiting adverse educational effects.
Challenges: Findings from Previous Empirical Research
Although asynchronous online discussions may afford certain advantages, such benefits can only be enjoyed if students choose to participate in the discussions. While students could participate by
Broadening the notion of participation in online discussions: examining patterns in learners’ online listening behaviors
While a great deal of research has studied the messages students contribute to electronic discussion forums, productive participation in online learning conversations requires more than just making
Analyzing Responses, Moves, and Roles in Online Discussions
There is much debate regarding the value and utility of grading discussions to ensure and assess full participation in the online classroom. Proponents of threaded discussions view it as an integral
Interaction in an asynchronous online course : a synthesis of quantitative predictors
The effectiveness and potential of asynchronous online courses hinge on sustained, purposeful collaboration. And while many factors affecting interaction have been uncovered by prior literature,
Instructor influence on reasoned argument in discussion boards
In this study, we explore the extent to which two instructional techniques promote critical discourse in an online class on educational standards and curriculum: instructor stance
Patterns of discourse in online interaction: seeking evidence of the collaborative learning process
Asynchronous communication by means of discussion forums plays an essential role in supporting collaborative learning. Online forums allow learners to ask questions, express their thoughts, share
Asynchronous online discussion thread development: examining growth patterns and peer-facilitation techniques
This study extends the research on asynchronous online discussion by providing a perspective on the growth patterns of discussion threads and the influence of peer- or student-facilitation techniques on thread development, and suggests that an online discussion thread grows either one of three patterns.


Beyond Threaded Discourse
The educational potential of asynchronous, computer-mediated conferencing is well documented. Opportunities for increased group interaction, more equitable communication patterns, higher degrees of
Learning in a computer conferenced contexts: The learner''s perspective
  • E. Burge
  • Psychology, Computer Science
  • 1994
The results of the study suggest that the taxonomy from cognitive psychology should be expanded to include strategies that focus on the management of the inter-personal and logistical elements of the CC context, and that CC poses as many challenges as it does opportunities for its use in higher education.
This case study of a university-level course delivered by computer conferencing examined student participation and critical thinking. It was guided by two purposes: (a) to determine whether the
The Influence of Computer Communication Skills on Participation in a Computer Conferencing Course
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) courses are attracting students with weak computer communication skills. This study examined what happened to these students when they enrolled in a CMC course
Facilitating Adult Learning through Computer-Mediated Distance Education.
This article is a case study of two distance education graduate courses offered by means of computer-mediated communication. The article describes the structure of the courses followed by an analysis
The Interaction of Motivational Orientation and Knowledge-Seeking Inquiry in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
The relations and possible interaction of students' motivational orientation and the quality of their inquiry in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) were examined. The study was
Factors influencing interaction in an online course
Results of the study reconceptualize interaction as a theoretical construct and emphasize the importance of socially constructed meanings from the participants’ perspectives.
Interactional Coherence in CMC
Evaluating the coherence of computer-mediated interaction by surveying research on cross-turn coherence reveals a high degree of disrupted adjacency, overlapping exchanges, and topic decay.
Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environments
Eleven principles, based on recent cognitive research, are suggested for designing computer environments that support intentional learning, including making knowledge-construction activities overt, maintaining attention to learning goals as opposed to other goals of an activity, providing process-relevant feedback, and giving students responsibility for contributing to each other's learning.
Learner-Interface Interaction in Distance Education: An Extension of Contemporary Models and Strategies for Practitioners
The concept of learner‐interface interaction is presented and instructional design strategies that will facilitate students' acquisition of the skills needed to participate effectively in the electronic classroom are recommended.