Discussion boards are perhaps the most commonly used collaboration tool in online courses. However, native discussion tools in learning management systems are limited in their ability to show interaction patterns among learners. Tools that provide more robust visual representations of discussions can improve instructors’ understanding of how students are interacting and, as a result, their ability to intervene when identifying suboptimal interaction patterns. This paper presents an exploratory investigation of one such tool, Social Networks Adapting Pedagogical Practice (SNAPP), examining its potential to help faculty understand and react to discussion patterns. Emerging learning analytics tools such as SNAPP can enhance the ability of course designers and facilitators of online discussions to make adjustments to their pedagogical approaches.
McCormick, J. (2013). Visualizing interaction: Pilot investigation of a discourse analytics tool for online discussion. Bulletin of the Technical Committee on Learning Technology, 15(2), 10-13.