A network analytic approach to integrating multiple quality measures for asynchronous online discussions

Elaine Farrow, Johanna Moore, Dragan Gasevic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Asynchronous online discussions within a community of learners can improve learning outcomes through social knowledge construction, but the depth and quality of student contributions often varies widely. Approaches to assessing critical discourse typically use content analysis to identify indicators that correspond to framework constructs, that in turn serve as measures of depth and quality. Often only a single construct is addressed for performing content analysis in the literature, although recent work has used both social presence and cognitive presence constructs from the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. Nevertheless, there is no effective, commonly used, analytic approach to combining insights from multiple perspectives about quality and depth of online discussions. This paper addresses the gap by proposing the combined use of cognitive engagement (the ICAP framework) and cognitive presence (CoI); and by proposing a network analytic approach that quantifies the associations between the two frameworks and measures the moderation effects of two instructional interventions on those associations. The present study found that these associations were moderated by one intervention but not the other; and that messages labelled with the most common phase of cognitive presence could be usefully assigned to smaller meaningful subgroups by also considering the mode of cognitive engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK21 Conference Proceedings - The Impact we Make: The contributions of learning analytics to learning
Subtitle of host publicationThe Eleventh International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge
EditorsMaren Scheffel, Nia Dowell, Srecko Joksimovic, George Siemens
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450389358
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2021 - Online, Irvine, United States of America
Duration: 12 Apr 202116 Apr 2021
Conference number: 11th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3448139 (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleLAK 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Cognitive presence
  • Community of inquiry
  • Critical thinking
  • Discussion forum
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • ICAP

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