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Toward a Semantic Forum for Active Collaborative Learning

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Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 12, Number 4, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647


Online discussion forums provide open workspace allowing learners to share information, exchange ideas, address problems and discuss on specific themes. But the substantial impediment to its promotion as effective e-learning facility lies in the continuously increasing messages but with discrete and incoherent structure as well as the loosely-tied learners with response-freeness. To motivate and facilitate active collaborative learning, this paper describes the design of a semantic forum with semantic link networking on discussion transcripts. Based on domain ontology and text mining technologies, messages are automatically processed for structural modeling with semantic association and special interest groups are automatically discovered for topic-centric social context measurement, which lays the foundation for the fulfillment of distinctive functionalities in the semantic forum (i.e. semantic search, relational navigation and recommendation). Compared with traditional forums, the semantic forum has three outstanding features. First, it deals with the structural incoherence and content isolation within forums. Second, it enables active learning by providing learners with relational navigation to meet their learning demands. Third, it supports social context based ranking to recommend learning companions or transcripts for collaborative problem-solving. (Contains 13 figures and 4 tables.)


Li, Y., Dong, M. & Huang, R. (2009). Toward a Semantic Forum for Active Collaborative Learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 71-86. Retrieved September 18, 2020 from .

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