ERIC Number: EJ1028378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Time, Space, and Dialogue in a Distance-Learning Class Discussion Board
Kabat, Katalin J.
E-Learning and Digital Media, v11 n2 p162-175 2014
The present study investigates the temporal elements affecting asynchronous discussion board messages over a semester, ways in which time is contextualized in space and content, and students' spatio-temporal practices within fixed frames. The theoretical framework uses Lefebvre's rhythm analysis, Bakhtin's chronotope, and Erickson's chronos and kairos. In total, 322 messages were collected from Blackboard's discussion board written by graduate students. The research applies basic descriptive statistics to analyze time and space. A modified version of Garrison et al's Practical Inquiry Model examines the content's higher-order thinking. Results show that time is non-linear and space is two-dimensionally linear. The mean life of threads lasts 8.2 days and peaks at 4.3 days. Students prefer unidirectional interaction (message-reply), the secondary message being lower-level thinking than the initial post. The optimal spatial spread is 400 words and kairic placement is just before the deadline. "Temporal zones" are clustered before, on, and after the deadline, following a low peak-valley-high peak format. Students manipulate fixed chronological time according to their kairic convenience (Gestalt proximity perception). Time lags and their frequency are inconsequential, as electronic time is perceived as continuous. Finally, pedagogical recommendations include detailed structural and spatio-temporal parameters for instructors or facilitators.
Descriptors: Distance Education, Discussion Groups, Asynchronous Communication, Time, Scientific Concepts, Graduate Students, Interaction, Student Attitudes, Preferences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A