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Why did nobody reply to my post in MOOCs?

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Oral Presentation in Postgraduate Conference in Lingustics, Sussex

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Why did nobody reply to my post in MOOCs?

  1. 1. A keyword analysis between lone posts and initiating posts in MOOC discussions Shi Min Chua @shiminchua A postgraduate linguistics workshop and conference at University of Sussex July 10th & 11th 2018 Why did nobody reply to my post?
  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 Space (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. Types of Posts Initiating Post Lone Post Research Question: • Why do some learners’ posts receive replies? Learners Lone Posts Initiating Posts Number of Posts 117863 32080 Number of Tokens 6162230 2401795
  6. 6. Motivation for examining Initiating Posts vs. Lone Posts ● Probability of posting again increased (Joyce & Kraut, 2006) ● MOOC-related study (Khe, 2008) ● sharing information ● very arrogant and oppressive with their positions ● overwhelmed by postings
  7. 7. Why do some learners’ posts receive replies and trigger discussions? ● Time of posting ● Forum design ● Disciplines (Joyce, Anand, Kraut, 2014) ● Size & topic (Himelboim, 2008) Linguistic Factors? ● Self-introduction referencing what has been discussed or related to topic ● Request only is not attracting replies (Joyce, Anand, Kraut, 2014) • Dialogic expansion/ contraction (Martin & White, 2005) • Heteroglosia (Baktin, 1956) • Stance (Du Bois, 2007)
  8. 8. Methods Corpus Driven Corpus Based Keywords Analysis • Dialogic expansion/contraction (Martin & White, 2005) • Heteroglosia (Baktin, 1956) • Stance (Du Bois, 2007) • Other features/phenomenon??? -Knowledge co-constructionsLexical Bundles statistical comparison or cut- off threshold at 40 per million words (Biber, Conrad, & Cortes, 2004)
  9. 9. Corpus Abbreviation Number of Social Learners Number of Learners' Comments Number of words contributed by learners Number of Facilitators Number of Facilitators' Comments Number of words contributed by facilitators Technology 609 7848 444440 13 571 28446 History 994 23108 1357658 5 1379 56555 Technology 1968 10310 418999 6 1018 43014 Linguistics 2199 14949 1103306 21 7164 342405 Social Sciences 5722 41175 2325367 11 2988 123806 Finances 637 10033 820829 5 363 32427 Management 934 8415 444294 6 691 16373 Astronomy 1986 24084 929592 8 1339 54180 Health 3788 30923 1443443 5 260 10364 Sciences 1344 8408 419278 5 735 56297 Healthcare 1320 10518 706377 7 391 8872 Geography 2004 14344 792637 7 809 43319 Sum 23505 204115 11206220 99 17708 816058
  10. 10. Keyword Analysis Comparison: Lone posts vs. Initiating posts Number of posts Number of token Abbreviation Initiating posts Lone posts Replies Initiating posts Lone posts Replies Technology 1151 4731 1966 92680 262140 89620 History 4176 8652 10280 330828 567627 459203 Technology 1900 4822 3588 105238 169263 144498 Linguistics 5500 4449 5000 501186 297458 304662 Social Sciences 4841 30792 5542 406832 1652576 265959 Finances 1845 2612 5576 188831 232226 399772 Management 1207 5905 1303 73449 310497 60348 Astronomy 4386 11724 7974 201854 420635 307103 Health 2661 23109 5153 197137 1024804 221502 Sciences 1650 4331 2427 93420 216450 109408 Healthcare 720 8525 1273 70113 572934 63330 Geography 2043 8211 4090 140227 435620 216790 Total 32080 117863 54172 2401795 6162230 2642195
  11. 11. Keyword Analysis: Cut-off Criteria ● Comparing initiating posts to lone posts ● the log-likelihood ratio test, p < 0.000000000001 (Flowerdew, 2015) ● Keyness indicator (effect size): 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 Learners Lone Posts Initiating Posts Keywords 77 70
  12. 12. Analysis of Keywords Step 1 ● Concordance lines of each keyword ● Salient meaning/function (McEnery, 2016) ● Biber et al (1998), Wmatrix (Rayson, 2017), Fairclough (2004), Halliday (2004), Martin & White (2004) ● Categorized based on function related to dialogic learning – three theories. explicitly Step 2 ● Functional grouping of keywords ● Interpretations based on groups of keywords? Step 3 ● Discourse/conversation analysis of selected keywords (O’Keeffe & Walsh, 2016)
  13. 13. Pronouns Initiating Posts Lone Posts Pronouns he I, my, our, their Indefinite pronouns anybody, anyone, any everyone, every
  14. 14. Greetings: Among 4375 instances, 975 “Hi everyone”, 868 “Hello everyone” Appreciation: 428 “Thank(s)… everyone” Making stances -104 “not everyone…” -”…we need everyone to control our daily waste…” Narrative “…especially when considering the spread of disease and how closely everyone lived in the cities…” Keyword: everyone in lone posts
  15. 15. Keyword: anybody in initiating posts Request for recommendation “…So, does anybody have a good suggestion for a text book on Anaconda, Python and Pandas?” Offering recommendation “…Suggest anybody else that may still be receiving 'file not found' for exercise 6 could try the same thing…” Asking for information “Can anybody let me into the secret of the little ball moving between 28 and 32 somethings on the right hand side of the animation.”
  16. 16. Keyword: anybody in initiating posts Looking for shared experience “I've logged my food intake as always but dont count the calories as i find it tedious , i have been eating healthy most of the time…Anybody else not counting calories?” “Is it just me or does anybody else have issues find <sic> the PwC paper?” Is this a frequent phrase? (anybody else) Expressing stance “How can it be that anybody can have children irrespective of their financial situation /circumstances and expect society to pick up the bill?...” (narrative)
  17. 17. Stance Expression Initiating Posts Lone Posts Modals/Modal expression might, would could will, need, able Hedging perhaps, seems, sort (of) Quantifier (any) all, lot, much, (every) Booster surely, just really, very, definitely, always Epistemic expression wonder, wondering aware, understanding, learned Thoughts feel, feeling, think, agree Emotion keen, hope, hoping, looking, forward, enjoy, enjoyed, love Evaluation wrong difficult, easy, excellent, better, interesting, informative, great, important, good, new Negation cannot, ca, n't, (wrong) (agree) Uncertainty Expanding dialogic space Welcoming alternatives Certainty No alternatives Contracting dialogic space
  18. 18. Stance Expression Initiating Posts Lone Posts Modals/Modal expression might, would could will, need, able Hedging perhaps, seems, sort (of) Quantifier (any) all, lot, much, (every) Booster surely, just really, very, definitely, always Epistemic expression wonder, wondering aware, understanding, learned Thoughts feel, feeling, think, agree Emotion keen, hope, hoping, looking, forward, enjoy, enjoyed, love Evaluation wrong difficult, easy, excellent, better, interesting, informative, great, important, good, new Negation cannot, ca, n't, (wrong) (agree) Uncertainty Expanding dialogic space Welcoming alternatives Certainty No alternatives Contracting dialogic space 719/990 I wonder 262/338 I .. wondering “…I wonder if we have love sickness today but we call it an obsession…” From what I have learned about the spread of the plague and other recurring infectious
  19. 19. Stance Expression Initiating Posts Lone Posts Modals/Modal expression might, would could will, need, able Hedging perhaps, seems, sort (of) Quantifier (any) all, lot, much, (every) Booster surely, just really, very, definitely, always Epistemic expression wonder, wondering aware, understanding, learned Thoughts feel, feeling, think, agree Emotion keen, hope, hoping, looking, forward, enjoy, enjoyed, love Evaluation wrong difficult, easy, excellent, better, interesting, informative, great, important, good, new Negation cannot, ca, n't, (wrong) (agree) Uncertainty Expanding dialogic space Welcoming alternatives Certainty No alternatives Contracting dialogic space “… so I am looking forward to learning more about the beliefs regarding health…” “…I hope I will be able to contribute more to the digital accessibility…” “…I also really enjoy using kineasthetic activities…”
  20. 20. Stance Expression Initiating Posts Lone Posts Modals/Modal expression might, would could will, need, able Hedging perhaps, seems, sort (of) Quantifier (any) all, lot, much, (every) Booster surely, just really, very, definitely, always Epistemic expression wonder, wondering aware, understanding, learned Thoughts feel, feeling, think, agree Emotion keen, hope, hoping, looking, forward, enjoy, enjoyed, love Evaluation wrong difficult, easy, excellent, better, interesting, informative, great, important, good, new Negation cannot, ca, n't, (wrong) (agree) Uncertainty Expanding dialogic space Welcoming alternatives Certainty No alternatives Contracting dialogic space 2318 instances of agree 53 n’t agree 37 not agree 2715 don't 1114 can't 1042 didn't 670 doesn't 466 isn't 399 couldn't 369 wouldn't 362 wasn't 318 haven't 210 won't 180 aren't 145 shouldn't 110 hadn't 71 hasn't 66 weren't 602 n't know 541 n't have 373 n't think 232 n't be 209 n't see 198 n't get 168 n't understand 162 n't really 162 n't want 152 n't seem 131 n't it 126 n't work 120 n't find 112 n't the
  21. 21. Connectors and Comparative terms Initiating Posts Lone Posts Connectors if, or, then, example, e.g. also, and Comparative terms than, rather, else, same more
  22. 22. Initiating Posts Lone Posts Punctuation ,…-();?"': !. Uncategorized 1, one, two, numbers, missing, following, why, whether like, main, currently, working, opportunity, education, environment, mind, week, well Grammatical the, that, there, here, does, did, was, were, 's, on, by am, 'm, have, for, about, with, to Discourse particles please, sorry thanks, thank Verbs in past tense/passive form used, tried, came, called joined Verbs in present tense/infinitive form affects, helps, achieve, work , gain, meet, improve Speech act mean, explain, tell, says, say, told Meta-language question, article information, course, knowledge Uncategorized Multiple meanings/functions, no salient meaning Does not share meaning/function with other words
  23. 23. Initiating Posts Lone Posts Punctuation ,…-();?"': !. Uncategorized 1, one, two, numbers, missing, following, why, whether like, main, currently, working, opportunity, education, environment, mind, week, well Grammatical the, that, there, here, does, did, was, were, 's, on, by am, 'm, have, for, about, with, to Discourse particles please, sorry thanks, thank Verbs in past tense/passive form used, told, tried, came, called joined Verbs in present tense/infinitive form affects, helps, achieve, work , gain, meet, improve Speech act mean, explain, tell, says, say Meta-language question, article information, course, knowledge Uncategorized Multiple meanings/functions, no salient meaning Does not share meaning/function with other words Question-related? c.f. anyone, anybody
  24. 24. Keyword: question, ? introduce a question explicitly “…your work is amazing and I have a question what happen if we mixed up soils pour…” and “Question: does anybody knows what kind of a thing is 'a doddle'?...” face-saving strategy “…I hope this isn't a stupid question, but... what does…” “A purely theoretical question - how different to now would the tides…” ● 100 randomly selected instances of “question” and “?” within a sentence, which were distributed among 98 initiating posts, revealed several usage of this keyword
  25. 25. Keyword: question, ? Rhetoric question to state own opinions or stances “…And so the economic question, at what point does it become economically viable to terrace the fields rather than let soil and water run away? My garden is on ...” Intextuality “…In terms of the question as to whether a leg is healthy if it performs the function…” “…perhaps the question on the quiz for which the correct definition for…”.
  26. 26. Conclusions ●Initiating posts: Addressing with indefinite pronouns, so anyone could respond, give agency to others Questions and hedging to show uncertainty Negation to voice out alternatives ●Lone posts: Appreciation, Emotion, Evaluation Booster to show certainty Agreement Self-mention ● Lone posts are not necessarily not favoured, they could be “liked” ● Stances occurs in both types of posts, what are the differences?
  27. 27. Discussions ● Is the difference between initiating posts and lone posts merely the frequency of usage of the keywords found? ●Could keywords found in the initiating posts have the same or different functions in the lone posts? ● How to investigate bare-assertion, in contrast to modals? ● Investigating a specific feature, such as modals, rather than only those key modals? ● Co-occurance of keywords in a posting ●Logistic Regression, multi-dimensional analysis ●Accurate tagging and feature extraction is needed ● Linguistic profiling vs. Practical implication in online learning
  28. 28. Acknowledgement ● Dr Caroline Tagg, Prof Mike Sharples, Prof Bart Rienties ● Leverhulme Trust ● Course Providers ● shimin.chua@open.ac.uk

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