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An Exploratory Study on Blog Visualization and Learners' Reactions in an Online Learning Community

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  • オンライン学習コミュニティにおけるブログの情報可視化と学習者反応に関する予備研究

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Abstract

This exploratory study reports on students' online behavior within an environment that allows monitoring of their and others' work performance in an online learning community. Previous research showed that group dynamics can both foster and inhibit online participation. It has also been suggested that visualization of the performance (such as a picture) of all members of a group works as an "external feedback," which can foster higher performance. Students in this research could see others' blog postings both in textual and visual formats. In this study, a blog viewing tool was implemented in the middle of the semester to observe changes in students' behavior as reflected in the frequency of their blog posts. Two methods, quantitative blog text analysis and post-course questionnaire administration, were used. The questionnaire was utilized by the students to evaluate the usability of the blog viewing tool. Analysis revealed that students' blog posting frequency remained fairly high in the latter half of the semester. The study suggests the possibility that visualization of online performance could function as a self-regulatory mechanism to encourage regular online participation in a class community.

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