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dc.contributor.authorDe Silva, W.A.P.P.R.-
dc.contributor.authorImalika, W.A.C.I.-
dc.description.abstractOnline learning has become a prominent practise among higher educational institutions due to its power to overstep time and cost constraints. Although it lacks face-to-face physical interactions among students and facilitators, current online learning platforms are designed to facilitate collaborative learning by enabling students to discuss subject related concerns in an online forum setting. However, when the student capacity grows learning management systems become incapable of providing deeper insights on each and every students’ social behaviour. Hence, the course facilitators may feel difficult to gain a broader view of how actually the students interact with each other which makes them difficult to provide an informed intervention. For an instance, a facilitator may want to know how well students communicate with each other, are there any isolated students, are they gaining the maximum benefit out of discussions and are the discussions really help them in learning better. Through such understanding of students’ social behaviour, a facilitator can make effective interventions to help the students in need. Therefore, current study evaluated the effectiveness of voluntary discussion forums on student’s academic performance by examining the online forum interactions and assessment marks of hundred and fifty students. The study was conducted as a case study based on Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) external degree programme offered by University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka and it followed a data driven approach. BIT is a fully online degree programme which uses MOODLE Learning Management System as their Virtual Learning Environment. Therefore, this study used interaction and assessment data extracted from the BIT Moodle database and analysed extracted data using social network analysis, correlation analysis and classification methods to provide valuable insights. The findings identified the factors which have affected students’ engagement in discussion forums. Overall, the results showed that students who participated in the forum tended to have better performance in the assessments. Most importantly, the study could reveal importance of considering the social capital of the students when evaluating their engagement in online discussion platforms rather than just considering number of messages posted by each student. Findings from this study contributed to development of a tool which helps the facilitators to assess and monitor the students in online discussion environment in a more effective and efficient manner.en_US
dc.subjectCollaborative Learningen_US
dc.subjectComputer-Supported Collaborative Learningen_US
dc.subjectEducational Data Miningen_US
dc.subjectLearner Analyticsen_US
dc.subjectSocial Network Analysisen_US
Appears in Collections:2018

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