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ERIC Number: EJ847991
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1449-5554
Contrasting Syntactic and Semantic Units in the Analysis of Online Discussions
Murphy, Elizabeth; Ciszewska-Carr, Justyna
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, v21 n4 p546-566 2005
This paper reports on a study which contrasts results obtained using semantic and syntactic units of analysis in a context of content analysis of an online asynchronous discussion. The paper presents a review of literature on both types of units. The data set consisted of 80 messages posted by ten participants in an online learning module. Data were coded twice by two coders working independently. In the first instance, each coder divided all messages into semantic units and then coded those units. The second coding was conducted on the basis of a syntactic unit of a paragraph. Analysis at the level of the whole group showed little difference in results between the two types of coding. At the level of individual participants, those differences were greater. Results are discussed within a framework of reliability, capability of the unit to discriminate between behaviors, feasibility of different units, and their identifiability. Implications for research are discussed. (Contains 9 tables and 1 figure.)
Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Ascilite Secretariat, P.O. Box 44, Figtree, NSW, Australia. Tel: +61-8-9367-1133; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A