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Peer Assistance and Interaction in an Online Forum

Peer Assistance and Interaction in an Online Forum
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Author(s): Ugur Kale (West Virginia University, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 13
Source title: Adaptation, Resistance and Access to Instructional Technologies: Assessing Future Trends In Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Steven D'Agustino (Fordham University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-854-4.ch008

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Abstract

This study examines peer interaction and peer assistance observed in on an online forum, part of a graduate level instructional design course during the 2008 spring academic term. It incorporates both content analysis and social network analysis techniques. The content analysis results showed that the four types of peer assistance adopted from an existing framework were adequate to categorize the peer assistance that the students received during the study. Students tended to receive more Reflective assistance from their peers if their reading reflections provided high relevance to the course projects. Social network analysis results revealed that while 70% of the students provided peer assistance to one another, they were less likely to go beyond the course requirement of posting toward to end of the semester. Also, a further analysis demonstrated how SNA approach may help examine the influences of actor attributes on their observed communication.

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