Sharpening the focus: methodological issues in analysing on-line conferences

Cook, Deirdre and Ralston, John (2003). Sharpening the focus: methodological issues in analysing on-line conferences. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 12(3) pp. 361–376.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14759390300200164

Abstract

As on-line discussion becomes an increasingly important and significant aspect of teachers' professional education, most particularly as part of distance learning environments, there is a need to understand and develop effective analytic techniques that provide insights into the processes at work within these systems. The computer conferencing environment at the centre of this study is a complex, unstructured discussion forum, of a type increasingly found as a component of continuing professional development courses. In these situations the evidence of knowledge building processes is a key concern. This study concentrates on a close examination of some existing analytic tools and considers their contribution to identifying the processes at work within these on-line environments, as teachers discuss aspects of education.

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