the one where I finally publish my thesis
discussion visualization with gephi
discussion network visualization
I just put together some quick network maps for the online discussions from my thesis research data. Haven't done any analysis - just some purty pictures to see any at-a-glance differences:
Both discussion platforms had about the same number of posts and responses, but the pattern of connections is markedly different for some reason...
aggregated metadata for online discussions
here's a quick look at the aggregated metadata for all of the online discussions I'm using in my thesis:
About the same number of posts in each platform, with a bit more of a time-spread in the WordPress discussions, substantially longer posts in WordPress, about the same (non) use of images, more links in WordPress posts, and more attachments in Blackboard posts.
basic metadata analysis
full online discussion metadata visualization
on visualizing online discussions
Notes: Xin (2012): A Critique of the Community of Inquiry Framework
Xin, C. (2012). A Critique of the Community of Inquiry Framework. The Journal of Distance Education, 26(1). Retrieved from http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/755/1333
Thanks to Stephen Downes for pointing this paper out. I'm up to my eyeballs, processing data for my Community of Inquiry based MSc research, and could have missed this.
The Community of Inquiry model provides a framework for describing interactions within a community or classroom environment. It involves using textual analysis and coding of messages to interpret the type of interaction for each message - whether it involves social, teaching, or cognitive components. As I've been coding the data for my thesis, I've been adding as many types of "presences" as are appropriate - a message may include a number of things, indicating social, teaching and cognitive presences in a non-exclusive manner. I'm imagining each message having its own little Venn diagram for Social/Teaching/Cognitive component, as per the CoI model. It's a simplification and abstraction, certainly, but looking at the coded output, I think it's still got a fair bit of fidelity to describe the interactions at a high level. In my data, I'm also adding coding to describe the type of content (links, images, attachments, embedded media, etc...) as well as how involved the message is (is it a simple one-liner? a 2 paragraph response? a multi-page essay?) - and I'm thinking about how to include data on the timeline of the discussion (how rapid were the responses? staccato rapidfire conversation, or long drawn-out periods of silence?) I'm still thinking about how to represent that kind of data for an online discussion, but I think there's something there, there.