Educational Performance of ALN via Content Analysis
Keywords:ALN, Open University of Israel, Content Analysis
Learning in an ALN mode is modeled by a set of educational processes. The group is modeled by an abstract entity that provides services to the learners via its group educational processes. The learners reciprocate by their corresponding educational processes. Following findings of the Social Interdependence Theory of Cooperative Learning, we conjecture that the ALN is Cooperative Learning enhanced by extended think time. If ALN is structured for effective cooperation then the group dynamics will regulate the high level reasoning and the interpersonal relationships of the learners towards their highest levels.
If this conjecture is found to be true, it identifies the maximization of reasoning and interpersonal relationships as one of the educational benefits of an ALN.
To test the conjecture, we developed a methodology for the evaluation of the performance profiles of the ALN educational processes. Performance profiles are calculated via content analysis of the information flows exchanged between the participants, and the results are tested for reproducibility. We use this methodology to analyze three weeks of asynchronous discussions embedded in an ALN course of the Open University of Israel (OUI). The results of this analysis indicate the plausibility of our conjecture.
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