Participation Patterns in Formal, Non-Formal, and Informal Online Learning Environments

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  • Elements, Emphases, Elements
  • Social Network analysis, Sociograms, Reciprocity Plot SNA examines directional INDEGREE and OUTDEGREE - Nodes and links
  • Participation Patterns in Formal, Non-Formal, and Informal Online Learning Environments

    1. 1. Patterns of Participation in Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Online Learning Communities Richard A. Schwier Jennifer X Seaton Virtual Learning Communities Research Laboratory Educational Technology and Design University of Saskatchewan
    2. 2. Central Concerns <ul><li>Shifting focus of research </li></ul><ul><li>Atomized view of communities </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Generation of models </li></ul><ul><li>Using research to inform development of online learning environments </li></ul>
    3. 3. Community Constituents Comparison Modeling
    4. 5. Formality of Learning Environment <ul><li>Formal </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Formal </li></ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul>
    5. 6. Selection of Groups <ul><li>Active, regular online conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion board transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Membership </li></ul><ul><li>Active facilitator * </li></ul><ul><li>All conversations considered * </li></ul><ul><li>Topics not restricted </li></ul>
    6. 7. Two Measures of Participation <ul><li>Interaction analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transcript Analysis Tools (Fahy, Crawford & Ally) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensity, Density, Reciprocity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engagement analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Density </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean Reply Depth (Wiley) </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Interaction analysis Messages/participant <ul><ul><li>“ levels of participation , &quot; or the degree to which the number of postings observed in a group exceed the number of required postings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>858 actual/490 required = 1.75 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensity = # of postings / # of expected postings = 73 actual / 9(14) expected = .579 </li></ul></ul>Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 1.55 3.90 8.08 21.9 57.8 95.5
    8. 9. Interaction analysis Messages/discussion Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 31.4 15.2 8.08 29.2 148.7 40.2
    9. 10. Interaction Analysis Intensity <ul><li>Intensity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ levels of participation , &quot; or the degree to which the number of postings observed in a group exceed the number of required or expected postings </li></ul></ul>Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 .03 * .09 * .34 1.82 4.1 2.51
    10. 11. Interaction analysis Density <ul><li>Density = 2 a /N(N-1), </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Included only peripheral interactions in formal environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the ratio of the actual number of connections observed, to the total potential number of possible connections </li></ul></ul>Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 cliques cliques .47 .40 1.0 .78
    11. 12. Interaction Analysis Reciprocity the parity of communication among participants
    12. 13. Interaction Analysis Reciprocity Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 Low Low .92 (sd=.94) 1.74 (sd=4.77) 1.10 (sd=.42) 2.51 (sd=.37)
    13. 14. Plotting Reciprocity
    14. 15. Engagement
    15. 16. Engagement analysis <ul><li>Thread density and depth (Wiley, 2010) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculation of levels of replies in conversation threads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data flawed, but useful </li></ul></ul>Mean Reply Depth (MRD crude) = sum of reply depth for all messages/messages in the thread Mean Reply Depth (corrected)= MRD (crude) x ((n-b(childless messages)/n)
    16. 17. Mean reply depth (MRD) equations Mean Reply Depth (MRD crude) = sum of reply depth for all messages/messages in the thread Mean Reply Depth (corrected)= MRD (crude) x ((n-b(childless messages)/n)
    17. 18. Do not attempt to read this!
    18. 19. Do not attempt to read this! Mulitlogue/discussion Simple Q&A/chit-chat Monologue/no discussion
    19. 20. Engagement analysis Mean Reply Density Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Formal 1 Formal 2 .71 1.16 .60 .70 1.76 1.40
    20. 21. Formal 1 Formal 2 Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Regular
    21. 22. Formal 1 Formal 2 Informal 1 Informal 2 Non-formal 1 Non-formal 2 Extended
    22. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>Interaction and engagement data tell similar stories </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline data are needed to situate findings </li></ul><ul><li>Most enjoyable part: the hunt, not the kill </li></ul>

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