Collaborative learning processes in an asynchronous environment: an analysis through discourse and social networks

Ramón Tirado, Ignacio Aguaded, Angel Hernando

Abstract


This article analyses an experience in collaborative learning in an asynchronous writing environmentthrough discussion forums on a WebCt platform of the University of Huelva’s virtual campus, and waspart of an innovative teaching project in 2007-08. The main objectives are to describe the processes ofcollaborative knowledge construction and the relevance of many-to-many communication in collectivecase resolution in asynchronous writing contexts. Two cases were selected for the experience, and twoanalytical approaches were adopted: discourse analysis and social network analysis. The results show thatin the Case A group, where speech occurrence was less prevalent, the social network analysis markersshow considerable cohesion and low levels of network centrality. By contrast, speech prevalence wasgreater in the Case B group and the network centrality markers were higher, although the group was lesscohesive. These results lead to the hypothesis that many-to-many communication is more important incollective knowledge generation processes than dyadic or triadic communication.

Keywords: Asynchronous collaborative learning; discourse analysis; social network analysis; curricularpracticals; discussion forums; many-to-many communication

Submission date: 2011-07-14Acceptance date: 2011-11-24


Keywords


Asynchronous collaborative learning; discourse analysis; social network analysis; curricularpracticals; discussion forums; many-to-many communication

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Journal of Latin American Communication Research - 2014

 

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