Talk with Me: Student Pronoun Use as an Indicator of Discourse Health

Krystle Phirangee
Jim Hewitt

Abstract


Identifying which online behaviours and interactions are associated with students’ perception of being supported will enable a deeper understanding of how those activities contribute to student learning experiences. Features of student language, especially verbally immediate behaviours, are one of the aspects of student interactions in need of greater exploration within discourse-based online learning environments. As a result, the verbally immediate behaviour of pronoun usage is explored within online courses where the primary learning mechanism is student discourse. Student posting behaviours and features of their language, specifically their use of different classes of pronouns, are explored from the perspective of how supported students felt in their courses as well as how their behaviours and pronoun usage changed over time. Findings suggest that students who were taking instructor-facilitated courses felt more supported which was associated with higher levels of interaction and increased consistency in student behaviours from week to week within the term. Those enrolled in peer-facilitated courses, who felt less supported, used pronouns differently than those who experienced greater levels of support, suggesting the potential for pronoun-based analytics.

Full Text:

PDF

References

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2008). The Development of a Community of Inquiry over Time in an Online Course: Understanding the Progression and Integration of Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 12(3–4), 3–22.

Arbaugh, J. B. (2004). Learning to learn online: A study of perceptual changes between multiple online course experiences. The internet and higher education, 7(3), 169-182.

Baker, C. (2010). The Impact of Instructor Immediacy and Presence for Online Student Affective Learning, Cognition, and Motivation. Journal of Educators Online, 7(1), n1.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Brooks, C., Erickson, G., Greer, J., & Gutwin, C. (2014). Modelling and quantifying the behaviours of students in lecture capture environments. Computers & Education, 75, 282–292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.03.002

Brooks, C., Greer, J., & Gutwin, C. (2014). The Data-Assisted Approach to Building Intelligent Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments. In J. A. Larusson & B. White (Eds.), Learning Analytics (pp. 123–156). New York, NY: Springer New York. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-1-4614-3305-7_7

Brooks, C., Hansen, C., & Greer, J. (2006). Social Awareness in the iHelp Courses Learning Content Management System. In Workshop on Social Navigation and Community-Based Adaptation Technologies, Fourth International Conference on Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-Based Systems (AH). Dublin, Ireland.

Brooks, C., Panesar, R., & Greer, J. (2006). Awareness and Collaboration in the iHelp Courses Content Management System. In W. Nejdl & K. Tochtermann (Eds.), Innovative Approaches for Learning and Knowledge Sharing (pp. 34–44). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/11876663_5

Cade, W., Dowell, N., Graesser, A., Tausczik, Y., & Pennebaker, J. (2014). Modeling Student Socioaffective Responses to Group Interactions in a Collaborative Online Chat Environment. In Educational Data Mining (EDM). North America

Chandrasekaran, M.K., Demmans Epp, C., Kan, M.-Y., & Litman, D. (in press). Using Discourse Signals for Robust Instructor Intervention Prediction. AAAI 2017.

Charmaz, K. (2010). Constructing Grounded Theory. London, SAGE Publications Ltd.

Chen, B., Wise, A. F., Knight, S., & Cheng, B. H. (2016). Putting temporal analytics into practice: the 5th international workshop on temporality in learning data. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (pp. 488–489). ACM. Retrieved from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2883865

Coxhead, A. (2000). A New Academic Word List. TESOL Quarterly, 34(2), 213–238.

Conaway, R. N., Easton, S. S., & Schmidt, W. V. (2005). Strategies for enhancing student interaction and immediacy in online courses. Business Communication Quarterly, 68(1), 23-35.

Creswell & Clark (2011). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, C., Lee, L., Pang, B., & Kleinberg, J. (2012). Echoes of Power: Language Effects and Power Differences in Social Interaction. In Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 699–708). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2187836.2187931

Daniel, B., Schweir, R., & Ross, H. (2005). Intentional and Incidental Discourse Variables in a Virtual Learning Community (pp. 1953–1965). Presented at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (E-Learn 2005), Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/21483

Dourish, P. (2003). The Appropriation of Interactive Technologies: Some Lessons from Placeless Documents. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 12(4), 465–490. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026149119426

Dourish, P. (2006). Re-space-ing place: “place” and “space” ten years on. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 299–308). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1180875.1180921

Dowell, N., Krypnyk, O., Joksimović, S., Graesser, A. C., Dawson, S., Gašević, D., … Kovanović, V. (2015). Modeling Learners’ Social Centrality and Performance through Language and Discourse. Presented at the International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM), Madrid, Spain: International Educational Data Mining Society.

Doyle, G., Yurovsky, D., & Frank, M. C. (2016). A Robust Framework for Estimating Linguistic Alignment in Twitter Conversations. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW) (pp. 637–648). Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. https://doi.org/10.1145/2872427.2883091

Friedberg, H., Litman, D., & Paletz, S. B. F. (2012). Lexical entrainment and success in student engineering groups. In 2012 IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT) (pp. 404–409). https://doi.org/10.1109/SLT.2012.6424258

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. London: Penguin.

Graham, S. L. (2007). Disagreeing to agree: Conflict, (im)politeness and identity in a computer-mediated community. Journal of Pragmatics, 39(4), 742–759. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2006.11.017

Hew, K. F. (2015). Student perceptions of peer versus instructor facilitation of asynchronous online discussions: Further findings from three cases. Instructional Science, 43(1), 19–38.

Hughes, M., Ventura, S., & Dando, M. (2007). Assessing social presence in online discussion groups: A replication study. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 44(1), 17-29.

Jaworski, A., & Coupland, N. (Eds.). (1999). The discourse reader. London; New York: Routledge.

Joksimović, S., Dowell, N., Skrypnyk, O., Kovanović, V., Gašević, D., Dawson, S., & Graesser, A. C. (2015). How Do You Connect?: Analysis of Social Capital Accumulation in Connectivist MOOCs. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge (pp. 64–68). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2723576.2723604

Kacewicz, E., Pennebaker, J. W., Davis, M., Jeon, M., & Graesser, A. C. (2014). Pronoun Use Reflects Standings in Social Hierarchies. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(2), 125–143. http://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X13502654

Koedinger, K. R., Kim, J., Jia, J. Z., McLaughlin, E. A., & Bier, N. L. (2015). Learning is Not a Spectator Sport: Doing is Better than Watching for Learning from a MOOC. In Learning @ Scale (pp. 111–120). ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/2724660.2724681

Kramer, A. D., Oh, L. M., & Fussell, S. R. (2006, April). Using linguistic features to measure presence in computer-mediated communication. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 913-916). ACM.

Kreijns, K., Kirschner, P. A., & Vermeulen, M. (2013). Social Aspects of CSCL Environments: A Research Framework. Educational Psychologist, 48(4), 229–242. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2012.750225

Michinov, N., Michinov, E., & Toczek-Capelle, M. C. (2004). Social Identity, Group Processes, and Performance in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 8(1), 27.

Phirangee, K., Demmans Epp, C., & Hewitt, J. (2016). Exploring the relationships between facilitation methods, students’ sense of community and their online behaviours. Special Issue on Online Learning Analytics. Online Learning Journal, 20(2), 134–154.

Rovai, A. P. (2002). Development of an instrument to measure classroom community. The Internet and Higher Education, 5(3), 197–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(02)00102-1

Rovai, A. P., & Barnum, K. T. (2007). On-line course effectiveness: An analysis of student interactions and perceptions of learning. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 18(1), 57-73.

Ubon, N. A., & Kimble, C. (2004). Exploring social presence in asynchronous text-based online learning communities (OLCS). In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (pp. 292-297).

Vassileva, J., Deters, R., Greer, J., McCalla, G., Bull, S., & Kettel, L. (2001). Lessons Learned in Deploying a Multi-Agent Learning Support System: The I-Help Experience. In J. D. Moore, C. L. Redfield, & W. L. Johnson (Eds.), International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) (pp. 410–421). San Antonio, TX, USA: IOS Press. Retrieved from http://publicat.bham.ac.uk/7565/

Vassileva, J., McCalla, G. I., & Greer, J. E. (2016). From Small Seeds Grow Fruitful Trees: How the PHelpS Peer Help System Stimulated a Diverse and Innovative Research Agenda over 15 Years. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 26(1), 431–447. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40593-015-0073-9

Wang, A. Y., & Newlin, M. H. (2002). Predictors of performance in the virtual classroom: Identifying and helping at-risk cyber-students. THE Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), 29(10), 21.

Wise, A. F., Hsiao, Y.-T., Marbouti, F., & Zhao, Y. (2012). Tracing Ideas and Participation in an Asynchronous Online Discussion across Individual and Group Levels over Time - Raw research notes and article annotations. In International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) (pp. 431–435). Sydney, Australia: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Wise, A. F., Hausknecht, S. N., & Zhao, Y. (2014). Attending to others’ posts in asynchronous discussions: Learners’ online “listening” and its relationship to speaking. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 9(2), 185–209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-0



PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.18608/jla.2017.43.4

Share this article: