Assessing Online Discussion Forum Participation

Assessing Online Discussion Forum Participation

Matthew Shaul (Kennesaw State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2007070104
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As a socially constructive learning tool, discussion forums remain central to online education. They have continued to evolve in functionality, acquiring ever-increasing usability features. However, development has lagged in providing instructors the means to assess student work in forums. The author submits an overview of his software program that provides instructors with the means to evaluate forum work quickly, easily, and repeatedly. The software accomplishes this by accessing the forums’ underlying database, searching for manifest and latent data, and calculating data associated with an array of metrics. This is a Web-based tool built on Open Source and standards-based languages, providing opportunities to port the program to numerous Learning Management Systems. It is the intention of this author to provide this tool, when completed, for such use as a free, Open Source tool. Interested parties may e-mail the author for progress updates. Currently, however, further work on the project must await the completion of another project, the author’s dissertation.

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