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What is Topic Initiator

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
A discussant who initiates the current online discussion topic.
Published in Chapter:
Discussion Processes in Online Forums
Gaowei Chen (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Ming M. Chiu (The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch693
Online discussions' information transparency, communication flexibility and opportunities for reflection, can enhance information processing, higher order thinking and learning. Many group processes influence online discussants' creation of correct, new ideas (micro-creativity) and use of social cues. New ideas, justifications, disagreements and questions in recent messages facilitate micro-creativity. Moreover, new ideas and justifications tend to reduce both positive and negative social cues during online discussions. While agreements elicit positive social cues, disagreements invite negative ones. Meanwhile, participants with more past posts than others often show more micro-creativity. Together, these mechanisms show how sequences of online messages create a local context that influences participants' correct outcomes and social relationships. By understanding these discussion processes, designers can improve online forum interfaces, and educators can help students participate, cooperate and learn in online forums more effectively.
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Learning Processes during Online Discussions
A discussant who initiates the current online discussion topic.
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