Developing a Metric for Evaluating Discussion Boards
Robin Kay, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Washington, DC, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-54-9 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA
The use of online discussion boards has grown extensively in the past 5 years, yet some researchers argue that our understanding of how to use this tool in an effective and meaningful way is minimal at best. Part of the problem in acquiring more cohesive and useful information rests in the absence of a comprehensive, theory-driven metric to assess quality and effectiveness. Based on an extensive review of the research, the following variables were used: thread, location of message, author, subject line clarity, posting time, response time from previous message, reading frequency, number of words, primary purpose, message quality, difficultly level, knowledge level, processing level, and use of external resources. These variables proved to be effective in addressing key areas in online discussion research. It is argued that this kind of metric is essential if we wish to advance our understanding of online discussion boards for both educators and researchers.
Kay, R. (2004). Developing a Metric for Evaluating Discussion Boards. In J. Nall & R. Robson (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2004--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1946-1953). Washington, DC, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2004 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)