Analysis of Forum Discourse in Large Online Classes


David Joyner
Georgia Institute of Technology


In large online classes (especially those for credit) forums take on an added significance as a proxy for the physical classroom. Specific features, such as automatic logging, persistent availability, and anonymity, alter this experience in notable ways as well. In this talk, we present a number of small studies performed on forum data generated by for-credit online graduate classes. We note trends in participation based on age and gender, ways that participation in these programs can be automatically evaluated, and the methods for extracting sentiment and identifying struggling students based on forum behavior.


David Joyner is a Senior Research Associate and Associate Director of Student Experience in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. His work focus on large online for-credit classes at the graduate and undergraduate level. He has developed and teaches several such online classes, including Educational Technology, Human-Computer Interaction, and Introduction to Computing.