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Content analysis: What are they talking about?
ARTICLE

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Computers & Education Volume 46, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

Quantitative content analysis is increasingly used to surpass surface level analyses in computer-supported collaborative learning (e.g., counting messages), but critical reflection on accepted practice has generally not been reported. A review of CSCL conference proceedings revealed a general vagueness in definitions of units of analysis. In general, arguments for choosing a unit were lacking and decisions made while developing the content analysis procedures were not made explicit. In this article, it will be illustrated that the currently accepted practices concerning the ‘unit of meaning’ are not generally applicable to quantitative content analysis of electronic communication. Such analysis is affected by ‘unit boundary overlap’ and contextual constraints having to do with the technology used. The analysis of e-mail communication required a different unit of analysis and segmentation procedure. This procedure proved to be reliable, and the subsequent coding of these units for quantitative analysis yielded satisfactory reliabilities. These findings have implications and recommendations for current content analysis practice in CSCL research.

Citation

Strijbos, J.W., Martens, R.L., Prins, F.J. & Jochems, W.M.G. (2006). Content analysis: What are they talking about?. Computers & Education, 46(1), 29-48. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2005.04.002

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