perfecting interaction in blended courses through discourse analysis

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Presentation at 2012 Sloan-C Blended Conference and Workshop in Milwaukee, WI


  • 1. Perfecting Interaction in BlendedCourses through Discourse Analysis Susan Wegmann, Ph.D. Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D University of Central Florida
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  • 3. Why Are We Here? Interaction in blended courses = wild west Discourse analysis methods (f2f/online) > collect/analyze blended discourse data > learn about effective blended interactions Todays Agenda Summarize research literature Share easy-to-use tools Invitation to participate Practitioner Research collaborator
  • 4. Web Interactions Polls interspersed throughout Text messaging (send code to 37607) Twitter (tweet code to @poll) Web site (specific url) Specific codes to use for each response option on each poll Twitter Conference hashtag: #blend12 Tweet about this session: #blendgage Tweet us: @SusanWegmann @kthompso 4
  • 5. Via web:
  • 6. Discourse Analysis Primer Oral discourse (See Traditionally audio recorded and transcribed Text coded (moves) and analyzed for themes Ideally, more researchers: inter-rater reliability Online discourse (See Typically occurs via text Text coded (moves) and analyzed for themes Ideally, more researchers: inter-rater reliability
  • 7. The Connected Stance Line of discourse analysis research initiated by Wegmann & McCauley (2007, 2010) Relationship between student academic performance and discourse contributions Contributions = participation + engagement Participation = amount contributed Engagement = richness of contributions Purposive sampling: High, middle, low perform
  • 8. Connected Stance Moves Standard themes for coding Purposes for student contributions How students use language May be simplistic or more complex May be self-referencing or dialogical May range from functional to sophisticated Currently 24 moves tracked (extensible)
  • 9. Moves Delineated Introducing a new topic Connecting to a previous thought Sharing opinion Questioning (or wondering) Sharing beliefs Giving an example Connecting to other readings Sharing Grand idea Connecting to own experiences Challenging a peer Connecting to their own Connecting to course content classrooms Using humor Connecting to their own thinking Couches reply to inform audience Building rapport Leading up to a conclusion Suggesting organizational theme Drawing a conclusion Revealing their own struggles Challenging course content Responding to a peers question Giving information Giving advice
  • 10. Connected Stance Process1. Rank order students by cumulative grade2. Compile written discourse from H, M, L students3. Paste text into two columned chart4. Code student text fragments using moves5. Repeat with additional rater(s)6. Tally number of words each student used7. Tally number of moves each student used8. Construct a quadrant graph (moves at bottom, number of words vertically)9. Plot H, M, L students on graph
  • 11. Connected Stance Findings Higher performing students generally contribute more to discourse and use language for more varied purposes than lower performing students = (The Connected Stance) Instructor intervention/facilitation can affect change toward a Connected Stance (higher participation/higher engagement) profile 3Rs (respond, react, reply) explicit written criteria
  • 12. Connected Stance Status Qualitative data time consuming to collect/analyze (especially f2f) Inter-rater reliability is a challenge Revised Approach Level 2: Existing Robust Methods Level 1: New Expedited Process (SCOPe) Fewer meta moves Increased ease of use Increased reliability
  • 13. SCOPe of Interactions 24 moves consolidated to 4 meta-moves Language usage in interactions that are: Self-referencing Content-referencing Other- referencing Platform-referencing Worksheet tallies rather than robust analysis See examples:
  • 14. SCOPe Process1. Rank order students by cumulative grade2. Tally meta-moves by H, M, L students3. Worksheet proxy calculations for f2f word count4. Repeat with additional rater(s)5. Follow worksheet to construct quadrant graph6. Plot H, M, L students on graph7. See
  • 15. Some Research Questions We Have Under what f2f conditions with The Connected Stance findings manifest? What particular classroom interaction techniques are associated with higher student engagement f2f? Are student behaviors associated with engagement consistent between online and f2f contexts of a blended course? That is, are students who are highly engaged online also highly engaged f2f?
  • 16. Practitioner Recommendations Focus initially on courses in which interaction is deliberately facilitated (majority of class involved) Establish course (4+ weeks) before using SCOPe Avoids orientation issues re: expectations Allows time for interventions
  • 17. How Can You Get Involved? Get on mailing list for info/updates: Use SCOPe to examine interactions in blended course -> inform teaching practice Design your own research project using Connected Stance/SCOPe models Wed be happy to assist!
  • 19. ContactDr. Susan Kelvin