Assessing messaging activity in an online discussion forum using an innovation adoption approach

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  • 1. Assessing messaging activity in an online discussion forum using an innovation adoption approach Steven Lopes Abrantes Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (Portugal) [email_address] Luis Borges Gouveia Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Portugal) [email_address] ICTEL – International Conference on Technology-Enhance Learning 27-July-2011
  • 2. Main Purpose of the study
    • Verify which of the students are in the initial and the majority market of adopters ;
    • C lassify what type of messages do these different kind of students send when using an online discussion forum , involved in this study, and
  • 3.
    • It was felt that learning was to acquire knowledge through a process of attention, memorization, and reproduction of it;
    • The integration of computer in education is now a reality impossible to ignore and one that must be studied;
    Technology Environments
  • 4. Technology Environments
    • New technologies allow the creation of new knowledge spaces;
    • Now, besides the school, also the working place and the home have become places for education and learning;
    • The computer can still be understood, not as one common tool, but a tool that support and foster collaborative learning.
  • 5. Collaborative Technology Environments
    • With collaborative technology environments people today can spread knowledge more easily, compared with the 60s, mainly due to the emergence of the Internet .
  • 6.
    • The use of new technologies leads us increasingly to a student-centered model;
    • This model is essential to have an intensive communication both among students, and between students and teachers;
    • The forums are one of the key components for this type of communication;
    • Forum popularity is due to the fact that it is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, allowing users to operate anytime and anywhere.
    Collaborative Technology Environments
  • 7. Innovation and diffusion in Technology The adoption of innovation has been a research subject studied by Everett M. Rogers
  • 8.
    • Moore (2001) examined the issue of innovation adoption and stated that there is a " break in the normal curve "
    • (Geoghegan, 1994) identifies four factors that might facilitate the crossing of the abyss:
      • Recognition;
      • Vertical orientation;
      • Convincing value;
      • Institutional commitment.
    Innovation and diffusion in Technology
  • 9.
    • Although the use of forums in the context of higher education is already widely used, some issues associated with its utilization arise;
      • The evaluation issue is quite complex and raises many questions;
      • With the simple counting of posts of each participant in an online discussion forum, you cannot measure the quality of interactions;
    • This study uses Mesquita (2007) approach to classify the students messages
    Evaluating online discussion forums
  • 10. The study
    • This study involves one hundred and twelve students from a higher education institution;
    • The main tool used was Google Groups;
    • This study uses:
        • Classification of messages (Mesquita, 2007);
        • The scores of individual innovation developed by Anderson, Varnhagen and Campbell (1999);
  • 11.
    • In this study:
    • University school students;
    • 78.57% were males;
    • 84,82% had ages between sixteen and twenty four years;
    The study
  • 12. The study IM (14) MM (67)
  • 13. The study Number of messages/Innovation Average number of messages/Innovation IM MM Concentração 189 749 IM MM 3 2 1 3 2 1 1,85 1,2 1,4 2,4 1,4 2
  • 14. Conclusions
    • The majority of the students were males, had ages between sixteen and twenty four years and that most of the students have already used discussion forums .
    • For the case of the classification of innovation for the students, we verified that they had a set of scores that were in a range between 16 and 31 .
  • 15. Conclusions
    • The analysis of data allows us to conclude that the students sent a total of 455 messages:
      • 185 were classified as Very Good
      • 113 Good
      • 157 classified as Positive
      • 45 classified as not significant
  • 16. Conclusions
    • Students that belong to the initial market, sent less messages, than the students that belong to the majority market;
    • The most innovative users send more messages than the other users.