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Corpus Analysis of MOOC discussions

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Oral Presentation in Birmingham Corpus Linguistics Summer School 2018

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Corpus Analysis of MOOC discussions

  1. 1. Linguistic Resources for Dialogic Learning in MOOC Discussions Shi Min Chua @shiminchua Institute of Educational Technology (IET) Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET). Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies The Open University Corpus Linguistics Summer School University of Birmingham, 25 - 29 June 2018
  2. 2. MOOCs CoursesOpen OnlineMassive Large number of learners -registered learners: up to 40000 -learners who take part in the discussion: up to 5000 -Free -No pre-requisite -No face-to-face -Asynchronous -various subjects -evolving learning design
  3. 3. Post Reply Social Learning
  4. 4. Online Discussion as a Space Technological Affordance Content ● Dialogic Spaces (Wegerif, 2010): Promote reflection and thinking skills ● Space for Learning (Walsh & Li, 2013): Positive and Focused Language • dialogic expansion/contraction (Martin & White, 2005) • Heteroglosia (Baktin, 1956) • Stance (Du Bois, 2007) • Knowledge co-constructions ???
  5. 5. Why do I want to utilize corpus linguistic methodology? ●Large samples ●Generalization ●Discourse/Conversation analysis (O’Keeffe & Walsh, 2016) Courses Number of Comments Number of tokens Technology 8419 472886 History 24487 1414213 Technology 11328 462013 Linguistics 22113 1445711 Social Sciences 44163 2449173 Finances 10396 853256 Management 9106 460667 Astronomy 25423 983772 Health 31183 1453807 Sciences 9143 475575 Healthcare 10909 715249 Geography 15153 835956 Sum 221823 12022278
  6. 6. Methods Corpus Driven Corpus Based Keywords Analysis • dialogic expansion/contraction (Martin & White, 2005) • Heteroglosia (Baktin, 1956) • Stance (Du Bois, 2007) • Knowledge co-constructions ??? • Other features/phenomenon??? Lexical Bundles statistical comparison or cut- off threshold at 40 per million words (Biber, Conrad, & Cortes, 2004)
  7. 7. Keyword Analysis Reference corpus: comparisons Cut-off criteria ● the log-likelihood ratio test, p < 0.000000000001 (Flowerdew, 2015) ● Keyness indicator: Bayes Factor > 10 (Wilson, 2013) ● Normalized frequency > 5 per 100,000 (McEnery, 2016) ● Dispersion Measure, Gries’ Deviation of Proportion (Gries’ DP, Gries, 2008; Lijffijt & Gries, 2012) < 0.30 Courses Number of Comments Number of tokens Technology 8419 472886 History 24487 1414213 Technology 11328 462013 Linguistics 22113 1445711 Social Sciences 44163 2449173 Finances 10396 853256 Management 9106 460667 Astronomy 25423 983772 Health 31183 1453807 Sciences 9143 475575 Healthcare 10909 715249 Geography 15153 835956 Sum 221823 12022278
  8. 8. Variables to investigate: Facilitators Learners Number of Posts 17708 204115 Number of Tokens 816058 11206220 Keywords 137 87 1. Roles: • What linguistic resources are used by facilitators to create dialogic learning in MOOC discussions?
  9. 9. 2. Types of Posts Initiating Post Lone Post Variables to investigate: • Why do some learners’ posts receive replies and trigger discussions? • Logistic Regression?? Learners Lone Posts Initiating Posts Number of Posts 117863 32080 Number of Tokens 6162230 2401795 Keywords 70 77
  10. 10. Variables to investigate: Initiating Post First Reply First Reply Reply Further Reply Initiating Post First Reply Initiator’s Reply 3. Replies - Consensus vs. disagreement - Turn-taking - Knowledge co-construction - Evidence for initiating posts??
  11. 11. Keyword Analysis of Facilitators’ Comments ● Step 1 ● Concordance lines of each keywords ● Random sampling to be subjected to wmatrix for semantic tagging ● Biber et al (1998), Fairclough (2004), Halliday (2004) ● Step 2 ● Grouping of keywords ● Interpretations based on groups of keywords? ● Step 3 ● Discourse/conversation analysis of selected keywords? • What linguistic resources are used by facilitators to create dialogic learning in MOOC discussions?
  12. 12. Facilitators Learners Name 9 proper names Pronoun you, your, yourself, we, us m, am, I, im, me, my, myself, our, their, they, he Discourse particles hi, yes, thanks, please, sorry Interactivity Thanks for all your thoughtful comments this week! Thank you for sharing this link on colour illusions! thanks for your thoughts, it is great to read personal insight. Sugar is an ingredient in food that does not <…>
  13. 13. Dialogic Expansion/Contraction, Stance Facilitators Learners Modals might, 'll, can, will, want, 'd, must, needed Booster indeed, just, exactly, directly really, surely, very Evaluation right, fine, good, great, interesting better, hard, informative Emotions glad, worry, afraid feeling, surprised, forward, hoping, love, like Hedging sounds, sure, thoughts, find seems, thought Speech act suggest, mean, ask, suggestion, referring, asking epistemic believe, knew, realise, understand quantity every, little, lot, much, all, most
  14. 14. Meta-language Facilitators Learners Discussion activities-related point, points, pointing, comment, comments, question, discussion, post, feedback, answer, questions, pointing, reply, discussed, posted Logistics and learning materials click, check, button, materials, download, page, link, videos, section, text, pdf, fixed, sections, website knowledge Course and MOOC mooc, futurelearn, course Conceptual objects issue, issues, topic, case, research, researchers subject Referential week, weeks, later, next, coming now Time never, time, times, year, years, ago Hopefully you will see in the last part of week 4 how the ‘skilled jobs’ issue and technological change can be dealt with in different ways. <…> we 'll keep coming back to this question of who was more healthy <…>
  15. 15. Uncategorized Facilitators Learners Connectors if, e.g., example, examples, terms, i.e., meantime, then, depends etc, and, &, whilst, since, when Punctuation ),'(-:!?" . Grammatical particles here, this, that, there, the, these, are, is, be, 's, do, on, for been, being, have, in, off, over, to, was, were, with, a Uncategorized option, b, different, what, two, available, free high, old, poor, lack, who, age, environment, lives, people, world, self Uncategorized Verbs let, hear, hope, note, see, look, using, try, collect, uses decided, learned, made, started, told, took, did, got, had, worked, improve
  16. 16. Discussions ● Unit of Analysis: ● Concordance lines ● Thread ● Groups of keywords ● Individual keywords ● How to investigate bare-assertion, in contrast to modals? ● Linguistic profiling vs. Practical implication in online learning ● Using MDA to complement the learning analytic methodology which categorizes postings into on/off topic, Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom et al, 1956): remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate, create, sentiment analysis ● Co-occurances of keywords in a posting ● Manual-correction
  17. 17. Acknowledgement ● Dr Caroline Tagg, Prof Mike Sharples, Prof Bart Rienties ● Leverhulme Trust ● Course Providers ● shimin.chua@open.ac.uk
  18. 18. Questions ● 3901 instances of ? ● 95% in the replies ● Types of Questions (Athanasiadou, 1990; Kleinke, 2012) ● Keywords: question, what ● Lexical Bundles ● do you think that, 49 instances ~ 60 per million words ● what do you think, 47 instances ~ 58 per million words do you think…? ● 262 instances ~ 321 per million words ● 246 in their reply to learners’ posts
  19. 19. Learner A: …. Learner B: My comment to Learner A is the same regarding the TV. Why on earth can we not have one device to include all functions. My thoughts are money. Facilitator: What kind of features do you think such a remote control should have? Learner B: Now you have put me in a corner. So I will have a go. On, Off, Program Change, Volume, Menu all at the top…… Facilitator: A disappointing news item on the ALT mailing list today, ….<url>… Sadly this will also set a US legal precedent, so we'll probably see a great deal more free and open content disappearing. So now its all completely inaccessible - to everyone :-( So a question <...> Do you think such freely-provided 'open content' should be taken down if it isn't captioned <…>?<...> Learner A: <…> Learner B: <…>
  20. 20. If-conditionals ● Pedagogic illustration, projecting, demonstration (O’Keeffe & Walsh, 2012) There are browser extensions that support pop-up translations for specific languages. <…> If you search for "Google Translate" on the Mozilla Addons site, you'll find extensions or add-ons that use Google Translate. ● Relevance (Warchal, 2010) If you are fascinated by votives, my colleagues at <…>run a blog which features information and analysis from all around the world: <…> Hi, if you have just joined the <…> MOOC I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all. Please don't hesitate to get stuck in <…> If you, 1907 instances If !you, 2038 instances Excluding “whether”
  21. 21. If-conditionals ● Arguments from multiple perspectives (Dancygier & Sweetser, 2009) Learner A: How interesting! You would think that a nitrogen fixing plant would be beneficial. Facilitator: Nitrogen fixation is useful for the plant itself if the soil is N poor and is useful for rotations in cropland but less useful if its N fixing abilities mean that it can out-compete native flora. ● Counter-arguments <…> Facilitator: <…>plus the interesting point that, if it was so bad, it's very odd that only Thucydides mentioned it! ● Counter-factual <…> Facilitator: If it was clear that people were paying 32%, 42% or 47% I wonder if there would be a lot more pressure to decrease tax rates.
  22. 22. Conclusion ● Interactivity – Name, pronoun, discourse particles ● Meta-language – discussion, course, conceptual objects, learning materials, reference ● Stance Expression – modals, hedges, speech acts, boosters, emotion, positive evaluation ● Questions, if-conditionals Intertextuality Focused Positive Open up to other voices: conversation space Open up to other arguments mental space

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