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Perfecting Interaction in Blended Courses through Discourse Analysis
Perfecting Interaction in BlendedCourses through Discourse Analysis Susan Wegmann, Ph.D. Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D University of Central Florida
Why Are We Here?• “Interaction” in blended courses = wild west• Discourse analysis methods (f2f/online) – > collect/analyze blended discourse data – > learn about effective blended interactions• Today’s Agenda – Summarize research literature – Share easy-to-use tools – Invitation to participate • Practitioner • Research collaborator
Web Interactions• Polls interspersed throughout – Text messaging (send code to 37607) – Twitter (tweet code to @poll) – Web site (specific url) – Specific codes to use for each response option on each poll• Twitter – Conference hashtag: #blend12 – Tweet about this session: #blendgage – Tweet us: @SusanWegmann @kthompso 4
Discourse Analysis Primer• Oral discourse (See http://bit.ly/oralbib) – Traditionally audio recorded and transcribed – Text coded (“moves”) and analyzed for themes – Ideally, more researchers: inter-rater reliability• Online discourse (See http://bit.ly/onlinebib) – Typically occurs via text – Text coded (“moves”) and analyzed for themes – Ideally, more researchers: inter-rater reliability
The Connected Stance• Line of discourse analysis research initiated by Wegmann & McCauley (2007, 2010)• Relationship between student academic performance and discourse contributions – Contributions = participation + engagement – Participation = amount contributed – Engagement = richness of contributions• Purposive sampling: High, middle, low perform
Connected Stance “Moves”• Standard themes for coding• Purposes for student contributions• How students use language – May be simplistic or more complex – May be self-referencing or dialogical – May range from functional to sophisticated – Currently 24 “moves” tracked (extensible)
Moves Delineated• Introducing a new topic • Connecting to a previous thought• Sharing opinion • Questioning (or wondering)• Sharing beliefs • Giving an example• Connecting to other readings • Sharing “Grand idea”• Connecting to own experiences • Challenging a peer• Connecting to their own • Connecting to course content classrooms • Using humor• Connecting to their own thinking • Couches reply to inform audience• Building rapport • Leading up to a conclusion• Suggesting organizational theme • Drawing a conclusion• Revealing their own struggles • Challenging course content• Responding to a peer’s question• Giving information• Giving advice
Connected Stance Process1. Rank order students by cumulative grade2. Compile written discourse from H, M, L students3. Paste text into two columned chart4. Code student text fragments using “moves”5. Repeat with additional rater(s)6. Tally number of words each student used7. Tally number of moves each student used8. Construct a quadrant graph (moves at bottom, number of words vertically)9. Plot H, M, L students on graph
Connected Stance Findings• Higher performing students generally contribute more to discourse and use language for more varied purposes than lower performing students = (The Connected Stance)• Instructor intervention/facilitation can affect change toward a Connected Stance (higher participation/higher engagement) profile – 3Rs (respond, react, reply) – explicit written criteria
Connected Stance Status• Qualitative data time consuming to collect/analyze (especially f2f)• Inter-rater reliability is a challenge• Revised Approach – Level 2: Existing Robust Methods – Level 1: New Expedited Process (SCOPe) • Fewer “meta moves” • Increased ease of use • Increased reliability
SCOPe of Interactions• 24 “moves” consolidated to 4 “meta-moves”• Language usage in interactions that are: – Self-referencing – Content-referencing – Other- referencing – Platform-referencing• Worksheet tallies rather than robust analysis• See examples: http://bit.ly/SCOPe_ex
SCOPe Process1. Rank order students by cumulative grade2. Tally meta-moves by H, M, L students3. Worksheet proxy calculations for f2f word count4. Repeat with additional rater(s)5. Follow worksheet to construct quadrant graph6. Plot H, M, L students on graph7. See http://bit.ly/plot_ex
Some Research Questions We Have• Under what f2f conditions with “The Connected Stance” findings manifest?• What particular classroom interaction techniques are associated with higher student engagement f2f?• Are student behaviors associated with engagement consistent between online and f2f contexts of a blended course? That is, are students who are highly engaged online also highly engaged f2f?
Practitioner Recommendations• Focus initially on courses in which interaction is deliberately facilitated (majority of class involved)• Establish course (4+ weeks) before using SCOPe – Avoids orientation issues re: expectations – Allows time for interventions
How Can You Get Involved?• Get on mailing list for info/updates: http://bit.ly/connectedstance_mailinglist• Use SCOPe to examine interactions in blended course -> inform teaching practice• Design your own research project using Connected Stance/SCOPe models – We’d be happy to assist!