Discourse and Network Analyses of Learning Conversations

Discourse and Network Analyses of Learning Conversations

H. L. Lim (The Petroleum Institute, UAE) and Fay Sudweeks (Murdoch University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch034
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Abstract

Analytical frameworks for examining educational computer mediated discourse have been mainly designed for asynchronous discussions; hence the classification schemes are typically more sensitive when applied to longer postings than the shorter, more condensed exchanges present in online synchronous discourse. This chapter introduces the exchange structure analysis framework for examining online synchronous interaction at levels of structural organization and pragmatic intention. The further application of social network analysis as a method and visualization tool for the coded exchanges are explained and illustrated. Examples are provided from transcript data of moderated collaborative group discussions during virtual tutorials in a case study. With the integration of discourse and social network analytical methods, a richer interpretation is gained on the processes of articulation and negotiation of meaning during online learning conversations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Adjacency Matrices: Display relational data with cases represented by both rows and columns, and the relations represented by entries in matrix cells.

Turn: Refers to contributions that fall within Episode boundaries in the transcript. In chat discourse, “a carriage return effectively sends a message and automatically delimits a turn” (Kneser et al., 2001, p.67).

Chat Exchange: Consists of at least an initiating and a responding turn, performed by a minimum of two participants.

Move: Refers to the pragmatic purpose or communicative intention underlying turns at speech-act level.

Utterance: “Everything said by one speaker before another began to speak” (Sinclair & Coulthard, 1992, p.2). The term refers to all contributions made by participants within a Session in the transcript.

Sociograms: Graphical displays of nodes representing entities and lines representing ties or relations.

Sociograms: Graphical displays of nodes representing entities and lines representing ties or relations.

Chat Rooms: Data communication channels that link computers supporting real-time interaction by users mainly via text messages.

Chat Rooms: Data communication channels that link computers supporting real-time interaction by users mainly via text messages.

Move: Refers to the pragmatic purpose or communicative intention underlying turns at speech-act level.

Turn: Refers to contributions that fall within Episode boundaries in the transcript. In chat discourse, “a carriage return effectively sends a message and automatically delimits a turn” (Kneser et al., 2001, p.67).

Chat Exchange: Consists of at least an initiating and a responding turn, performed by a minimum of two participants.

Adjacency Matrices: Display relational data with cases represented by both rows and columns, and the relations represented by entries in matrix cells.

Utterance: “Everything said by one speaker before another began to speak” (Sinclair & Coulthard, 1992, p.2). The term refers to all contributions made by participants within a Session in the transcript.

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