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Learning via online discussion has been widely acknowledged as an effective means in interactive learning environments. Many existing studies analyze collaborative discussions at the group level. Increasingly, researchers suggest that a better understanding of individual contributions within a group could help to explain what happens within groups. However, the existing analysis on individual contributions in online collaborative discussion is not comprehensive. In addition, there are only a few studies investigating the relationship between group performance and individual contributions. By quantitatively analyzing students’ discussion content and participation behaviors, this study measured the individual contributions based on six distinguishing features: productivity, activation, activity, reactivity, persistence, and novelty. Furthermore, cluster analysis was conducted to identify four contributor clusters: prominent contributors, coordinators, self-directed learners, and peripheral participants. Combined with the deep analysis of discussion postings, this study analyzed and described the features of each cluster contributors in detail. Furthermore, implications of this study for instructors’ guidance and researchers are discussed.
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- Exploring individual contributions during online collaborative discussions
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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