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Title: Experts Learn More (than Newcomers): An Exploratory Study of Argumentation in an Online Help Forum
Authors: Teo, Jie
Johri, Aditya
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Teo, J. & Johri, A. (2013). Experts Learn More (than Newcomers): An Exploratory Study of Argumentation in an Online Help Forum. In Rummel, N., Kapur, M., Nathan, M., & Puntambekar, S. (Eds.) (2013). To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: CSCL 2013 Conference Proceedings Volume 1 - Full Papers &Symposia. International Society of the Learning Sciences. pp. 470-477.
Abstract: Online help forums have emerged as a powerful form of knowledge sharing with significant implications for CSCL. To understand knowledge construction and learning within online help forums, this study examined the interactional dynamics amongst help-givers (experts) and help-seekers (newcomers) in an open, voluntary help forum for Java computer programming language. A purposive sample of active threads was analyzed using a coding scheme adapted from the argumentative knowledge construction (AKC) framework. The study found that while help-givers actively engaged in advanced argumentative and social moves, help-seekers seldom did. Furthermore, the number of advanced epistemic messages was lower than expected and both help-givers and help-seekers often veered off-topic towards socialization and conflict-oriented interactions. The study questions the feasibility of online help forums for facilitating acquisition of domain-specific knowledge by help-seekers but demonstrates the viability of the platform as a mechanism for experts to expand their knowledge. Our findings suggest that those who know more are able to learn more given their ability to engage in argumentation.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 2013

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