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Evaluating forum discussions as collaborative learning tool via information retrieval techniques

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2 Author(s)
Orooji, F. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Tehran, Tehran, Iran ; Taghiyareh, F.

Asynchronous discussion forum may be considered as a key tool in sharing learners' knowledge and handling communications in an eLearning environment. The huge number of messages makes it hard for participants to find their related topics and make an efficient contribution. Current research investigates the relevance of discussion posts to their containing forums, as well as extracting each learner's most frequent topics, via utilizing some information retrieval techniques. Results have retrieved a large number of posts irrelevant to their related forums. In addition, there are some weak contributions. In order to make learners contribution more informative and beneficial, this paper has proposed a new approach which emphasizes on training participants, and evaluating their related activities. The proposed approach has been applied in some academic courses in University of Tehran, department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The results have revealed some considerable improvements in comparison to the traditional forums. Research outcomes may be used in building learners profiles more precise and providing forums discussions with more valuable learners' contributions.

Published in:

E-Learning and E-Teaching (ICELET), 2012 Third International Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-15 Feb. 2012