Evaluating Student Discussions Online
Donald Egolf, University of Pittsburgh, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-64-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
In this paper, two classic techniques for evaluating group discussions were presented and discussed for their potential to evaluate student discussions in online courses. The two techniques were Bales' Interaction Process Analysis and Benne and Sheats' Role Analysis. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the techniques. In the pilot study six groups (five members each) of upper-level undergraduate students discussed two problems in two online sessions under different conditions. In the first condition no roles were assigned to the group members. In the second condition, two participants in each group were secretly assigned to play roles that Benne and Sheats found to retard group success. All group performances were analyzed by Bales' Interaction Process Analysis. Results of the pilot study showed that the techniques were successful in discriminating online successful student group discussion performances from unsuccessful or dysfunctional performances.
Egolf, D. (2008). Evaluating Student Discussions Online. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2008--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 348-353). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).