Interaction patterns over time in online discussion

Ibis Alvarez, Denisse López-B, Eulàlia Hernández


The following study aimed at exploring and understanding how higher education students develop interconnections and interaction patterns over time during an online collaborative task using a form of online discussion. A micro-genetic study was carried out by zooming in into four groups of students that showed extreme grading results in their final product. The study took place in a Psychology course at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) where 63 students participated in a two-week online discussion using two different interactive tools. These two different types of online discussion did not appear to affect students' interaction patterns, but groups using the Annotation tool did focus more on cognitive matters, while the space for discussion at the UOC had a more balanced focus on both social and cognitive dimensions. Continuous and meaningful feedback also proved to provide important conditions for this type of online collaborative task, which requires students to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem over time.


Peer-feedback; Online discussion; Socio-cognitive regulation; Higher Education

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