Computerised Content Analysis for Measuring Critical Thinking within Discussion Forums

Stephen Corich, Kinshuk Hunt, Lynn Hunt

Abstract


The growing popularity of online education has seen an increasing acceptance of the use of discussion forums as a means of promoting collaboration and interaction among distance education students. The fact that transcripts of these discussion forums can be saved as a permanent digital record has provided researchers an opportunity to analyse the interactions among participants and investigate evidence of cognitive and metacognitive activity.
This paper investigates some of the methodologies adopted by researchers who have attempted to analyse discussion forum transcripts, concentrating on methodologies that attempt to measure cognitive processes and critical thinking. It also investigates the use of computers in the content analysis process and describes how a tool using neural network has been successfully used to analyze transcripts.
The paper introduces a computerized tool, which aims to allow different content analysis methodologies to be compared.
The paper will be of interest to those who use discussion forums in their teaching activities and wish to measure the cognitive processing activities of discussion forum participants.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.20368/1971-8829/700



Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).