You are here:

From Interaction to Intersubjectivity: Facilitating Online Group Discourse Processes


Distance Education Volume 28, Number 3, ISSN 0158-7919


This article examines the online discourse that took place in representative threads from two classes, seeking to document indicators that students did or did not engage in co-construction of knowledge. Stahl's (2006) social theory of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is used along with discourse analysis methods to examine these course dialogues. Findings show the class that had a peer-like, consistent facilitative instructor and discussion anchored around questions and shared artifacts was more likely to engage in discussion leading to the negotiation of knowledge and understanding. This class relied on social acknowledgements, questions, and shared exploration of perspectives and theories throughout their discussion. These elements and strategies appear to be important components that make up for lower levels of tacit understanding in online environments, thus enabling learners to interact in social learning processes. The other class, which lacked a facilitative instructor, did not have the same results. Although interaction levels were equal and students carried topical motifs such as the phrase "faster, better, cheaper" from message to message, students in this other class did not engage deeply or develop new understanding of the course material through the discussion. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)


Dennen, V.P. & Wieland, K. (2007). From Interaction to Intersubjectivity: Facilitating Online Group Discourse Processes. Distance Education, 28(3), 281-297. Retrieved February 29, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 18, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact