Guest Post by Dr. Jakob Iversen
Dr. Jakob Iversen is a professor of Computer Science and director of Information Technology Services at UW-Oshkosh. He teaches MBA 770: E-Business Fundamentals for Managers and MBA 779: E-Business Website Development for the UW MBA Consortium.
When I evaluate discussions, I use the following strategies to identify patterns of participation. First, I open the Discussion forum and the gradebook (in separate windows). Then, I open the following windows:
- Discussion Statistics by Group (Discussions | Statistics | Users)
Filtered by group, this view shows the number of posts read and written for each student in each group. It provides a quick summary of the discussion.
- Discussion Statistics by Forum (Discussions | Statistics | Forums & Topics)
This view provides a snapshot of the entire discussion, including the overall number of threads and the number of replies for each forum and each group topic.
- Class Progress (Edit Course | View User Progress)
I filter by group, then I go to each student and drill down to the discussion item in question. I can see the timing of posts, and then I look for patterns of participation, such as whether a student posted throughout the week, several times just ahead of the deadline, or whether the student exceeded the minimum requirement.
I don’t necessarily read all posts, but I will read enough to assess the quality of the posts. I do this in the group discussion topic (threaded view), where I can see which posts sparked more discussion and which ones were dead ends. You can also sort and see all the posts by individual students (for View, change Threaded to All Posts).
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