CEC Faculty Articles

Title

Using data mining as a strategy for assessing asynchronous discussion forums

Document Type

Article

Date

1-1-2005

Publication Title

Computers & Education

ISSN or ISBN

0360-1315

Volume

45

Issue

1

First Page

141

Last Page

160

Description

The purpose of this paper is to show how data mining may offer promise as a strategy for discovering and building alternative representations for the data underlying asynchronous discussion forums. Presently, the instructor's view of the output of a threaded forum is limited to reviewing a transcript or print version of the written dialogue produced by participants. With potentially hundreds of contributions to review for an entire online course, the instructor lacks a comprehensive view of the information embedded in the transcript. In this context, the authors attempt to sort out the question, “what is data from an online forum?” among other key questions. The present work seeks to intersect the information (i.e., participation indicators) an instructor may wish to extract from the forum with viewable and useful information that the system could produce from the instructor's query. Temporal participation indicators are used to show how using data and text mining techniques in the query process could improve the instructor's ability to evaluate the progress of a threaded discussion.

DOI

10.1016/j.compedu.2004.05.003

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