Exploring Pivotal Moments in Students’ Knowledge Building Progress Using Participation and Discourse Marker Indicators as Heuristic Guides

  • Nancy Law
  • On-Wing Wong
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 15)


This paper sets out to identify pivotal moments in students’ knowledge building progress for an online asynchronous corpus generated by a class of master’s level students in the context of a totally online course. The main motivation for this study is to develop a methodology that can be effectively automated to aid teachers and/or researchers to quickly gain a good overview of students’ progress in understanding at an overall class level from a very large, semantically rich, and complex discourse corpus. The methodology incorporates the use of participation and discourse marker indicators to provide an overview of the nature and depth of students’ engagement in relation to key concepts targeted for student learning, and to support the heuristic selection of a small sample of notes for use by the teacher and/or researcher for further in-depth qualitative analysis. This methodology has the potential of being developed into a teacher’s pedagogical aid to more effectively facilitate students’ collaborative inquiry and knowledge building. As a researcher’s productivity tool in understanding students’ developmental trajectory in learning through discourse, it offers a distinct possibility for developing and validating knowledge building theory on the basis of empirical discourse analysis of large sets of corpus.


Knowledge Building Pivotal Point Idea Improvement Epistemic Agency Knowledge Forum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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