||The main purpose of this study is to explore the level of knowledge construction and behavior of students’ discussion in the course forum. We analyzed the content of students’ discussions in the course forum of Introduction to Computer Science course of National Central University. According to the classifications of knowledge- construction, Interaction Analysis Model (IAM), coding the post messages of students in the course forum. We illustrate the results with quantitative content analysis and lag-sequential analysis.|
The results of this study would be encoded and counted in different units, articles and paragraphs. Then we got that using different coding units encode the contents of students’ discussion, the results generally are consistent. In view of this, put the results of similar studies together, even if studies using different coding units, it would not cause any changes in the comparison between studies.
Comparing the results of our study with findings of some previous similarly studies, the results shows that, the knowledge-construction of students’ discussions are concentrated in K1 level - the main contents are sharing, comparing of information or raised the same views.
Another purpose of this study is to explore that if teachers involve in the discussions timely, would it enhance the level of knowledge-construction or no in order to increase students’ learning during the discussion. Hou (2007) found that if teachers did not involve in the discussion, the knowledge-construction are mostly in the lower levels, K1and K2. He recommends that teachers actively provide guidance and feedback to students, to enhance the level of knowledge-construction during the discussions. The results of this study showed that teachers involved in students’ discussions timely, and gave students the direction of discussions timely or guided students into deeper and broader discussions, it could promote a higher level of knowledge-construction (K3, K5) of discussions between students, and may improve students’ learning effectively.
Besides, we found that the previous research of observing discussions in online asynchronous platforms; almost all analyses are focused on the content of specific group in a particular short time. We want to know whether the results of such a particular group can represent the overall performance or no, and if the difference between groups will cause different outcomes or no. We recount the data of each academic year separately, and it showed that there are different behavior patterns between the discussions of different groups in the short term. So we got that the behavior of a group of particular students’ discussions in the short term could not represent the behavior of overall students.
Finally, according to the above results, this study proposes concrete suggestions to the teacher who allow students to discuss in a course forum and to the researchers study asynchronous online discussion platform in the future.
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