Towards combined network and text analytics of student discourse in online discussions

Rafael Ferreira, Vitomir Kovanović, Dragan Gašević, Vitor Rolim

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel method for the evaluation of students’ use of asynchronous discussions in online learning environments. In particular, the paper shows how students’ cognitive development across different course topics can be examined using the combination of natural language processing and graph-based analysis techniques. Drawing on the theoretical foundation of the community of inquiry model, we show how topic modeling and epistemic network analysis can provide qualitatively new insight into students’ development of critical and deep thinking skills. We also show how the same method can be used to investigate the effectiveness of instructional interventions and its effect on student learning. The results of this study and its practical implications are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education
Subtitle of host publication19th International Conference, AIED 2018, London, UK, June 27–30, 2018, Proceedings, Part I
EditorsCarolyn Penstein Rosé, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, H. Ulrich Hoppe, Rose Luckin, Manolis Mavrikis, Kaska Porayska-Pomsta, Bruce McLaren, Benedict du Boulay
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319938431
ISBN (Print)9783319938424
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventInternational Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018
Conference number: 19th (Link to Proceedings - Part I) (Link to Proceedings - Part II)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education 2018
Abbreviated titleAIED 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Community of inquiry model
  • Content analysis
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Instructional interventions
  • Online discussions

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