Annotated Bibliography #9

Thomas, M.j.w. “Learning within Incoherent Structures: The Space of Online Discussion Forums.” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 18.3 (2002): 351–366. Wiley Online Library. Web.

This bibliography covers a case study published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. The study explores the implications of using the format of a discussion forum on students’ learning. it relies on a study on patterns of interaction on one of these mediums and the effects it had on learning outcomes. The findings suggest that the typical “branching” model for online discussion forums may be insufficient to realize the true potential of a conversational mode of learning in an online space. I chose this article because it directly relates to this class since the majority of this class is conducted online and commenting on posts, either by the instructor or by other classmates, is an integral part of the course. It also loosely relates to my Annotated Bibliographies #7 and 8 because the one of the types of forums this research could be applied to are unmoderated forums, which would be another example of the “Affinity Space” of informal learning. I can’t find any limitations in this article that significantly affect its purpose or findings. This source would be helpful to anyone looking to explore the effectiveness of the increasingly prevalent “online-discussion” mode of learning on students’ performance.

An example of the "comment branch" format

An example of the “comment branch” format