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1 – 10 of over 42000
Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Reijo Savolainen

The major aim of this study is to find out whether people articulate their information needs and provide information to others differently in online sites of various…

2318

Abstract

Purpose

The major aim of this study is to find out whether people articulate their information needs and provide information to others differently in online sites of various types, more specifically, blogs and internet discussion forums.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the analysis of ten blogs and 40 threads of Suomi24, a Finnish internet discussion forum. The blogs and discussion threads focus on the same topic, that is, coping with depression. For the study, 1,044 blog postings, 1,727 bloggers' and blog readers' comments and 1,236 messages written by the discussion forum participants were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis.

Findings

The bloggers, blog readers and discussion group participants mainly articulated needs related to getting an opinion or evaluation of an issue, while needs for factual information and procedural information about possible ways of action were presented less frequently. Information provision drew strongly on the use of personal knowledge. There were no remarkable differences between the types of online sites with regard to the articulation of information needs and using sources for providing information to others.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on the analysis of a limited number of Finnish blogs and discussion threads in the field of coping with depression. Thus, the findings cannot be generalized to all online forums of these kinds.

Practical implications

Blogs and internet discussion forums provide useful sites to pose questions for online contributors and to get opinions as well as factual information about the ways to cope with depression.

Originality/value

The study is unique in that it compares information needs and information provision in online sites of various types.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Whitney G. Blankenship

As most teachers realize, classroom discussions have limitations including time restraints, reserved participants, or domineering discussants. With the advent of Web 2.0…

Abstract

As most teachers realize, classroom discussions have limitations including time restraints, reserved participants, or domineering discussants. With the advent of Web 2.0, the opportunities for class discussion have expanded to include synchronous and asynchronous discussion boards, blogs, and wikis. Discussion forums, as an extension of classroom discussions and activities, allow teachers to target multiple social studies skills while giving students opportunities to expand their own historical understandings via peer interaction. Whether the goal is to address specific historical thinking skills or push students to think about what it means to be an active citizen in a diverse society, discussion forums can play an integral role in the development of students’ understanding of society. I describe the reasons for expanding discussion into these new mediums and provide examples of students’ online discussions. Recommendations are offered for teachers who would like to begin using discussion forums in their own classrooms.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Rachel Barker

The main aim of this paper is to address the lack of research on the potential impact of the radical changes in social networking in the so-called network society and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of this paper is to address the lack of research on the potential impact of the radical changes in social networking in the so-called network society and indirectly the need to manage and constructively share in the collateral knowledge creation. To do this, a tracking study of the knowledge creation and sharing in a discussion forum has been conducted from a knowledge management perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative content analysis research design has been adopted in accordance with which content, text and messages on the website were critically examined; categories and themes identified and analysed; content coded and interpreted; and the results reported, relative to the research problem and theory. Both substantive decisions (what and how to code) and technical decisions (how coding will be interpreted) were made during the coding process and the interpretation of the results (Keyton, 2015). Three levels of division were used in the development of the coding system, namely, message construction, a summary of criteria and subcriteria and main links and sublinks (Wagner et al., 2012). The unit of analysis was a website, specifically the SouthAfrica.com online discussion forum, which presented an observable and measurable unit for the dissection of the text into components, criteria, subcriteria and elements to be analysed.

Findings

Two main findings emerged. First, it was empirically found that knowledge intervention by an expert in the organisation is in fact possible (and indeed needed as a proactive means) to ensure new knowledge is created and shared by individuals in the forum on a continuous basis. Second, it was found that a good theoretical foundation or framework can indicate the importance of various aspects which should be considered to obtain useful results from the participants or members of the forum through knowledge management.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by the fact that it only focussed on the measurement of knowledge management in one online discussion forum, SouthAfrica.com, during two time frames from an organisational perspective in terms of the three Cs. Further research in other settings would enhance the findings of this study, and researchers are encouraged to use the theoretical framework in future studies.

Practical implications

The main implication for managers in practice is that the research proved that participants in an online discussion forum quite often regard those members who manage the discussion forum as “experts”, but organisations then run the risk that the knowledge created and shared might not support, and/or might be detrimental to, the overall objectives and brand of the organisation.

Originality/value

This paper proposes the use of a theoretical framework to measure knowledge management, as applied to the identified online discussion forum, focussing on the three main components of content, communication and consumer with subcriteria and elements of the knowledge management perspective specifically. The main findings indicated that knowledge creation and sharing in online discussion forums is best supported if these components are proactively managed by an expert in the organisation to sustain and enhance successful communication.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Richard Conde, Victor Prybutok and Cameron Sumlin

Through the use of netnography, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction of 192 inside sales agents who collaborate within discussion forums to create…

Abstract

Purpose

Through the use of netnography, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction of 192 inside sales agents who collaborate within discussion forums to create communities of practice (CoPs). Drawing on situated learning theory and inside salespersons’ discussion forums, this study showcases how inside sales agents use CoPs to better their sales activity knowledge. This paper discovered how inside sales agents reach outside their organization to seek information within their mesosystem to positively impact sales activity knowledge outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used the use of netnography to follow the online community from afar, observing and capturing the essence of interaction without intruding on the conversation. Data from two inside sales professional discussion forums, 192 inside sales agents, produced nearly 67,161 words or 496 double-spaced pages.

Findings

This research demonstrates the power of CoPs. Inside sales agents seek information outside their company, within their mesosystem, to gain knowledge to improve sales activities. As boundary spanners, inside sales agents are not restricted, but rather, proactively find ways to consistently keep learning.

Practical implications

Organizations can and should implement internal CoPs to allow the exchange between sales agents in a more controlled matter. Furthermore, sales managers should proactively seek extern CoPs and introduced them to their organization as supplemental training.

Originality/value

The use of netnography is limited in sales literature. The research provides support for the use of netnography as it provides researchers firsthand access to multiple sales roles. This unadulterated access provides sales researchers the opportunity to study the many facets of sales, with pure, genuine data.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2015

Joachim Griesbaum, Nadine Mahrholz, Kim von Löwe Kiedrowski and Marc Rittberger

– The purpose of this paper is to get a first approximation of the usefulness of online forums with regard to information seeking and knowledge generation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to get a first approximation of the usefulness of online forums with regard to information seeking and knowledge generation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study captures the characteristics of knowledge generation by examining the pragmatics and types of information needs of posted questions and by investigating knowledge related characteristics of discussion posts as well as the success of communication. Three online forums were examined. The data set consists of 55 threads, containing 533 posts which were categorized manually by two researchers.

Findings

Results show that questioners often ask for personal estimations. Information needs often aim for actionable insights or uncertainty reduction. With regard to answers, factual information is the dominant content type and has the highest knowledge value as it is the strongest predictor with regard to the generation of new knowledge. Opinions are also relevant, but in a rather subsequent and complementary way. Emotional aspects are scarcely observed. Overall, results indicate that knowledge creation predominantly follows a socio-cultural paradigm of knowledge exchange.

Research limitations/implications

Although the investigation captures important aspects of knowledge building processes, the measurement of the forums’ knowledge value is still rather limited. Success is only partly measurable with the current scheme. The central coding category “new topical knowledge” is only of nominal value and therefore not able to compare different kinds of knowledge gains in the course of discussion.

Originality/value

The investigation reaches out beyond studies that do not consider that the role and relevance of posts is dependent on the state of the discussion. Furthermore, the paper integrates two perspectives of knowledge value: the success of the questioner with regard to the expressed information need and the knowledge building value for communicants and readers.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 67 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Tai Ming Wut and Stephanie W. Lee

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors affecting university students’ participation in discussion forum of electronic learning platforms of teacher–student…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors affecting university students’ participation in discussion forum of electronic learning platforms of teacher–student interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

One-stage cluster sampling was used and a cross-sectional survey of 113 university students from four courses was done.

Findings

A combined model based on United theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and DeLone and McLean models serves as a research framework. Female and male students’ behavioral intentions were affected by different factors. System quality affects male students’ behavioral intention and information quality affects female students’ behavioral intention. Social influence affects female students’ behavioral intention but male students. Men are more focused on the hardware and women are more focused on the content of the message.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the nature of university students. User experience and underlying perceived risk are possible moderators. Dyad approach could be considered. One way to enhance students and teachers’ academic discussion is to establish a closed university social media site. The site should be made mobile-friendly with chatbot included.

Originality/value

The results support the validity of the proposed new research framework on e-learning platform by the constructs coming from two established models: UTAUT model and DeLone and McLean’s model. Factors affecting intention and use behavior in discussion forum are different for male and female students. System quality affects male students’ behavioral intention, while information quality affects female students’ behavioral intention. Social influence affects female students’ behavioral intention but not male students.

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Judith McNamara and Catherine Brown

The purpose of this paper is to examine how online discussion can be used in work‐integrated learning as a vehicle for students to demonstrate their learning in the…

1190

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how online discussion can be used in work‐integrated learning as a vehicle for students to demonstrate their learning in the workplace and to facilitate collaborative learning where face‐to‐face classes are not feasible.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper evaluates the use of assessable online discussion in facilitating collaborative learning and scaffolding reflection in work placement subjects. It reviews the literature regarding the use of online discussion, particularly for work placement subjects, and evaluates the use of an online discussion forum in a case study subject in the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) undergraduate law course.

Findings

The paper suggests that assessable online discussion forums are appropriate to facilitate student collaboration and collaborative learning in work placement subjects.

Originality/value

The paper is original in its examination of the assessment of online discussion in a work‐integrated learning context.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Ayse Lokmanoglu and Yannick Veilleux-Lepage

Purpose – In order to explore how gender and sexual politics are played out in everyday practice within both the extreme right and jihadi-Salafist movements online, this…

Abstract

Purpose – In order to explore how gender and sexual politics are played out in everyday practice within both the extreme right and jihadi-Salafist movements online, this chapter analyzes the content of two women’s only forums: The Women’s Forum on Stormfront.org and Women Dawah, a Turkish language pro-IS group chat on Telegram.

Methodology – The Women’s Forum and the Women Dawah data sets were analyzed using structural topic modeling to uncover the differences and similarities in salient topics between White Nationalist and Islamic State women-only forums.

Findings – The cross-ideological and multi-linguistic thematic analysis suggests that the safety of online spaces enables women to be more active, and serves digital support network for like-minding individuals. It also highlights that religion and ideology, whilst interwoven throughout posts on both platforms, they were more explicitly discussed within Women Dawah data.

Originality/Value – This research uses a unique data set which was collected over one year to conduct a cross-ideological and multi-linguistic thematic analysis, a relatively uncommon approach.

Details

Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-988-8

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

S.P. Karunanayaka, J.C.N. Rajendra, H.U.W. Ratnayake and Som Naidu

The Open University of Sri Lanka implemented a fully online professional development course on open educational resources-based e-learning (OEReL), which adopted a…

1121

Abstract

Purpose

The Open University of Sri Lanka implemented a fully online professional development course on open educational resources-based e-learning (OEReL), which adopted a scenario-based learning (SBL) design within the constructivist pedagogy. It was designed to facilitate knowledge construction in a collaborative manner with the support of open educational resource (OER), mainly through peer-facilitated discussion forum activities. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study on how peer-facilitated discussions affected the OEReL process, what factors supported and hindered peer-facilitated discussions, and what challenges were faced during the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The OEReL course consisted of five modules with 14 discussion forum activities. Content analysis of the threaded forum discussions was the key data collection and analysis strategy based on the community of inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison and Arbaugh, 2007). It was supplemented with participants’ reflections and focus group discussions.

Findings

The three elements of CoI – cognitive presence, social presence and teaching presence played a major role in knowledge construction in the OEReL process. A complementary relationship between cognitive presence, social presence and teaching presence was observed, where the three elements have interacted in supporting knowledge construction. Overall, the findings reaffirm the significant of role of instructors in cultivating the three presences within a peer-facilitated environment, by enabling learners to engage with the content in a meaningful manner through appropriate course design, structure and leadership.

Practical implications

Forum discussions created an opportunity for participants to engage in meaning making through social negotiation, where facilitation became a shared responsibility among instructors and learners. Peer-facilitation was the key strength that promoted critical, analytical and reflective thinking, as well as self-regulated learning. The SBL design, learning tasks with OER integration, and instructor guidance were the most supportive factors, while time constraints due to the participants’ workload was challenging.

Originality/value

Through carefully orchestrated, well-structured and pedagogically sound OEReL environments, peer-facilitated forum discussions can be designed creatively and implemented in a meaningful manner to enhance knowledge construction.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Jennifer Beckmann and Peter Weber

The purpose of this study is to introduce a virtual collaborative learning setting called “Net Economy”, which we established as part of an international learning network…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce a virtual collaborative learning setting called “Net Economy”, which we established as part of an international learning network of currently six universities, and present our approach to continuously improve the course in each cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the community of inquiry framework as guidance and canonical action research (CAR) as the chosen research design, the discussion forum of the online course is assessed regarding its critical thinking value. We thereby measure critical thinking with the help of the according model provided by Newman et al. (1995), which differentiates 40 indicators of critical thinking from 10 different categories.

Findings

The calculated critical thinking ratios for the analyzed two discussion threads indicate a strong use of outside knowledge, intensive justification and critical assessment of posts by the students. But at the same time, there are also weak spots, like manifold repetitions. Based on these results, we derive changes for the next course cycle to improve the critical thinking of the students.

Originality/value

A comparison of the results after the next course cycle will then allow us to assess the effects of the implemented changes, which would not be possible without a critical thinking diagnosis approach.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

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