Interpretation of Computer Based Interaction Analysis Indicators: A Significant Issue for Enhancing Collaboration in Technology Based Learning

Interpretation of Computer Based Interaction Analysis Indicators: A Significant Issue for Enhancing Collaboration in Technology Based Learning

Tharrenos Bratitsis (University of Western Macedonia, Greece) and Angélique Dimitracopoulou (University of the Aegean, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-676-6.ch003
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Abstract

DIAS is an Asynchronous Discussion Forum Platform, mainly developed in order to offer extended monitoring and interaction analysis support, by providing a wide range of indicators jointly used in various situations, to all discussion forae users (individual students, groups, moderators/teachers or even researchers/observers), appropriate for their various roles in different activities. This chapter focuses on the explanatory and interpretation issues that arise when the integrated Interaction Analysis (IA) features are used by teachers – moderators. The importance of applying additional interpretative value to seemingly simple quantitative measurements is highlighted through several implemented case studies. This research indicates that the teachers’ tasks can be supported using such approaches. More complex diagrams, with potentially increased underlying interpretation power, provide a more insightful examination of the status and evolvement of a discussion, as well as the contribution and performance of the participants (as individuals or as groups). Students cooperate more fruitfully, by utilizing IA indicators for assessing and selfregulating their actions, thus facilitating the moderator’s tasks. It relies upon the moderator to manage this aspect of such tools to his/her benefit. Core objective of this chapter is to outline the importance of appropriate Interpretation of the IA indicators, thus enhancing collaboration in multiple levels. The notion of Interpretative Schemas is deployed and their potential exploitation is thoroughly explored, using examples from real teaching settings. In fact, the significance of interpreting visualization data in a combined way and from different perspectives is designated, leading to the conclusion that this issue needs to be further researched.
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Interaction Analysis

Computer-based Interaction Analysis (IA) is defined as the automatic or semi-automatic process aiming at understanding the computer mediated activity, drawing on data obtained from the participants’ activities. This understanding can be utilized for supporting the human or artificial actors in order to undertake part of the activity’s control, by contributing to awareness, self-assessment or even regulation and selfregulation (Dimitracopoulou, 2009).

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