Toward A Quantitative Analysis Of Online Communities
Dawson, Shane P., Winslett, Greg M., & Burr, Les (2004) Toward A Quantitative Analysis Of Online Communities. In Online Learning and Teaching Conference: Exploring integrated learning environments, 3 November 2004, Brisbane, Australia.
In flexible learning environments there has been an increased focus on developing resources that promote and facilitate the emergence of online communities. The formation of, and active participation in, a learning community has been suggested to facilitate the learning process (Rovai, 2002; Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Current literature examining the formation and development of online communities has predominantly centred on the qualitative analysis of posted messages (within an asynchronous discussion forum) as evidence for community attainment and sustainment (Brook & Oliver, 2003; Hew & Cheung, 2003). The search for key words and phrases is conducted regardless of timing and position within the threaded discussion. Hence, analysis of the postings often occurs in a manner that de-contextualises the discourse throughout the delivery of a subject (Misanchuk & Dueber, 2001). Furthermore, as analysis is limited to a few disparate units of study, an overall picture of the extent to which the online communities formed in individual units are supporting the strategic goals of the university is not formed.
Investment in online technologies and development of learning and teaching strategies is conducted at an enterprise level. However, current methodologies evaluating the development and sustainment of online communities have been focussed at a localised level. This paper proposes a scaleable quantitative approach to identify the degree of learner interactions occurring in specific subject-based forums for further qualitative analysis. It is proposed that the examination of data derived from the wider University context better positions and informs staff undertaking subject-based forums in order to align with University strategic goals.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Online learning, Community of practice, collaboration, Discussion forums, HERN|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2004 (please consult author)|
|Deposited On:||14 Sep 2005 00:00|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 12:27|
Repository Staff Only: item control page