You are here:

Temporal transitions in participation flow in an asynchronous discussion forum


Computers & Education Volume 54, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examined the overarching issue of how temporal transitions, specifically duration of message flow, affects momentum or wellness of discussion in an asynchronous forum. Quantitative data representing time indicators in discussion activity included posting patterns related to duration (density, intensity, latency, and response count), Day-In topic, day of week, and time of day. Qualitative analysis identified notable spikes or irregularities (i.e., peaks and valleys) in the content level of postings. Results revealed that for open-ended topics (i.e., no specific end date imposed by the instructor), the momentum of forum discussion may be short-term, between 21 and 28days into the topic. Peaks and valleys subsequent to 31days were not significant to discussion vitality. Students posted mainly early to mid-week. Time of day had no direct influence on the vitality of the discussion. Strategies for applying temporal transitions in an online forum to motivate and sustain student participation are discussed.


Dringus, L.P. & Ellis, T. (2010). Temporal transitions in participation flow in an asynchronous discussion forum. Computers & Education, 54(2), 340-349. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 8, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on February 1, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: