Analyzing Temporal Patterns of Groups and Individuals in an Online Learning Forum

Mengmeng Cheng, ChienYuan Su, Jianping Zhang, Yuhui Yang


Time plays a fundamental role to benefit and challenge the online discussion. It allows considering the temporal aspect both for analyzing of how learning takes places through online discussion, and for designing effective structures to support discussion activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal patterns of group and individuals participation in the discussion forum. Data were collected from the logs and the postings of college students. This study firstly investigated the temporal patterns of group participation in the discussion forum, and then analyzed how promptness and initiative of individuals in online discussion related with their grades at the end of the semester. Results revealed that students posted mainly in the first 23 days and among deadline. Students preferred discussing with others around the course content after they learned something related as soon as possible. They were willing to post in the morning and evening. There was strong relationship between students’ promptness and initiative of the online discussion and their grades. Reasons for these results were discussed.


discussion forum;temporal pattern; pace;sequence

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Copyright (c) 2017 Mengmeng Cheng, ChienYuan Su, Jianping Zhang, Yuhui Yang

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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