Evaluating online forums in university courses: How useful are learner traces?
Monday 30 March 2020 - 2:00-3:00 pm
[UPDATE: watch the seminar recording on the ALSET YouTube Channel]
The use of technologies to support learner interactions is now ubiquitous in teaching practices. Instructors commonly use social annotation tools, online forums, and other communication tools, such as social media, in their content delivery and out-of-class activities for students. These systems collect data about learner activity, and can help evaluate the social learning. Sophisticated knowledge-building tools, such as Knowledge Forum, have been shown effective for student epistemic change, in particular. Yet, the effectiveness of communication tools for social learning and relationship building can be debated. In this talk, I will discuss the opportunities and challenges that exist within the analysis of system data collected from learner communication tools. The talk will provide several examples of how forum data can be used to gain insights into social learning. Dr Poquet will demonstrate how learning analytics can help instructors evaluate forums using a multi-level framework that examines posting, communication, and relationship building in twenty university courses. In addition to instructor insights, she will demonstrate how log and text data collected from asynchronous communication environments can provide learners with a reflection of their interpersonal skills.
Dr Oleksandra Poquet is a researcher at the C3L at the University of South Australia. Sasha investigates how human, technological, and artificially intelligent agents can change peer learning and knowledge processes in digital settings. Her recent work focuses on how socio-technical networks form, what indicators capture social learning in networked environments, and what mechanisms drive peer effects through digitally mediated communication. Sasha received a MA from Aarhus University (Denmark), Deusto University (Spain), and Institute of Education, London (the UK), and a PhD in Learning Analytics from the University of South Australia. Sasha completed her postdoctoral training at the National University of Singapore. Sasha is active in the learning analytics community, currently serving as a Vice-President on the executive committee of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR).