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On-line Discussion On a Virtual Physics Forum: A Content Analysis

, , National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan ; , National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Lugano, Switzerland ISBN 978-1-880094-53-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


In this study we content analyzed on-line discussion of several senior-high-school groups on a forum of a virtual physics laboratory in Taiwan. The analysis was conducted in terms of participation rate, social cues, interaction types, and cognitive and metacognitive skills. We compared the result patterns of two discussion conditions (R-condition versus NR-condition) and investigated how the quality of message content changed in the processes of discussion. In the R-condition, participants were required to reply to the thread before they were allowed to read other messages on the forum, whereas participants in the NR-condition were not restricted to this demand. The results showed that for both conditions, the most frequently involved interaction type was "direct response", and the most frequently used cognitive skill was "elementary clarification". For the R-condition, fewer participants strayed from the discussion topics, but smaller percentage of message ideas contained metacognitive components in comparison to the NR-condition.


Guan, Y.H., Tsai, C.C. & Hwang, F.K. (2004). On-line Discussion On a Virtual Physics Forum: A Content Analysis. In L. Cantoni & C. McLoughlin (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2004--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 4141-4146). Lugano, Switzerland: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved October 15, 2019 from .



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