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ERIC Number: EJ805057
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0830-0445
Discourse Devices Used to Establish Community, Increase Coherence, and Negotiate Agreement in an Online University Course
Lapadat, Judith
Journal of Distance Education, v21 n3 p59-92 2007
Much has been written about the promise of online learning environments for higher education, and there is a rapidly growing body of research examining the nature of learning and interaction in such courses. This article presents a discourse analysis of an interactive, text-based, online, graduate education course, designed and taught according to constructivist principles. Qualitative analysis was used to describe the discourse devices and strategies that participants used in order to establish and maintain community, to create coherent academic discussions, and to negotiate agreements and disagreements over the length of the course. The results have implications for our understanding of how topical and social cohesion are established in online discussion, and demonstrate how participants use patterns of agreement and disagreement rhetorically to persuade and learn from others while also protecting the trust and inclusiveness of the online community. (Contains 2 tables and 6 endnotes.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada