Conducting SoTL of an internet artwork historical past course: utilizing discourse evaluation of dialogue boards

By AHTR editor Aly Meloche

For these of us who’re simply starting to show on-line, the idea of conducting scholarship of educating and studying along with all the different new obligations should sound about as a lot enjoyable as operating a digital assembly whereas attempting to homeschool new math. However these are essential occasions for artwork historical past pedagogy, and educating and studying has modified quickly. Many people really feel like we’re thrashing in an uncontrollable tempest, in search of out the perimeters of our personal skills to not simply cope, however to be taught. And on this studying there are classes — classes that when shared might present a well timed lifeline that one other is in search of. However once more, who has time for that?

The aim of this submit is to introduce one kind of SoTL that’s potential with out essentially including plenty of extra work on the a part of the teacher/researcher. Discourse analysis is a qualitative analysis methodology that permits researchers to trace many various components comparable to id exploration, agentic motion, social improvement, and content material mastery and (right here’s the nice half!) knowledge might be collected from on-line programs utilizing dialogue boards.

Many people already use dialogue boards, generally one for each week. In my very own on-line artwork historical past class I’ve used dialogue boards to trace and assess scholar’s understanding of sure “large image” ideas that I hope they take away from our content material materials, comparable to textbook readings, recorded lectures, or different issues. Right here’s a pattern of two prompts that I take advantage of in my 16th century in Northern Europe module:

Instance 1

  • What was the influence of the Reformation on artwork in Northern Europe? Focus on inventive fashion, patronage, material, and/or the general impact on the artwork world.
  • How does the artwork produced in 16th century Northern Europe evaluate or distinction to what was occurring in Italy? Embrace particular examples.

In these examples, I’m trying to see sure themes that I do know have been introduced within the content material materials parroted again to me. However I additionally search for areas the place college students come to their very own conclusions. A part of the rubric provides factors for originality, which discourages college students from repeating an idea that was talked about by considered one of their friends. College students are additionally inspired to type a dialogue by commenting in a means that builds off of the conclusions of their friends.

Generally I take advantage of dialogue boards as a extra open discussion board wherein college students are inspired to replicate on one thing that stood out to them for a sure purpose.

Instance 2:

  • This week we coated many various artists and types and matters from the historical past of Mid to Late nineteenth Century artwork in Europe and the Americas, however we didn’t cowl every little thing. What’s one thing that you just want had been a part of our course supplies? Or, if you’re not very accustomed to the Late 19th century, what’s one thing that we touched on briefly that you’d take pleasure in additional discussing?

In these dialogue boards there’s a better emphasis positioned on the feedback that college students go away on their friends and the dialogue that they create.

I’m sharing these two examples as typical sorts of dialogue boards. In instance 1 I’m in search of content material mastery, in instance 2 there may be much less of an emphasis on “getting it proper” and extra on facilitating an internet group. I’m additionally trying to honor college students’ prior data, which permits them to bridge what they know to what they’re studying.[1] Each of a majority of these dialogue boards might be collected as a part of a SoTL venture.

Whether or not you’re an skilled on-line teacher, otherwise you’ve only recently made the swap out of necessity, you’re in all probability utilizing dialogue boards much like one or each of the examples I shared. In reality, yours are in all probability significantly better!

Now it’s time for the even higher information: Dialogue board knowledge is straightforward to gather as a result of it’s already digital (no scanning or transcribing vital) and might be exported or copy/pasted right into a phrase processing doc.

And the better-er information? Most SoTL tasks that contain the gathering of scholar knowledge which they’re already doing for sophistication are seemingly IRB exempt [2]. Which means that the committee reviewing your analysis plan ought to push it via fairly rapidly and, as soon as you’re accredited, you’ll seemingly solely want verbal/written consent. No prolonged consent kinds, YAY! As a part of your IRB description it is best to make the next issues clear: 1. the info being collected is a part of a standard class project, 2. college students are capable of have their knowledge not included, if they need, with out grade penalization, 3. you’ll defend scholar’s id utilizing pseudonyms and redacting identifiable data in any publications.

If that didn’t scare you away, let’s do a really transient introduction to 3 of the sorts of SoTL you may conduct utilizing on-line dialogue boards.

Evaluation of content material data:

Let’s think about you might have tried a brand new approach to ship course content material, like a brand new video lecture or OER, and also you wish to see if college students are nonetheless studying the fabric adequately. Or perhaps you wish to know what a part of the fabric stood out to them. You’ll be able to assess the efficacy of recent course content material by highlighting cases that this content material is referenced and qualifying the extent of understanding that the scholar demonstrates. Here’s a pattern codebook that particularly assesses how the scholars consult with course materials in an internet dialogue submit:

Qualifier Inadequate Growing Satisfactory Professional
Description Dialogue presents primarily private opinions. No connections are made to related course materials (insert particular materials right here). Dialogue submit presents minimal connections to related course materials (insert particular materials right here). Connections which are made are considerably unclear at occasions and/or missing particular reference (pg #, time, and many others). Dialogue submit presents some direct connections to related course supplies (insert particular materials right here). Most of the connections are clearly said with occasional particular reference. Dialogue submit is stuffed with direct connections to related course materials (insert particular materials right here). Course materials is clearly said and documented with particular references.
Pattern scholar textual content: Insert examples of inadequate textual content right here      

Information like this could even be quantified and tracked over time. For instance, should you introduce a brand new content material materials, you would possibly ask if the standard of references to course materials improves by the top of the semester, as soon as college students get used to a brand new means of studying.

Social community evaluation:

Let’s say considered one of your said targets in your on-line course is to develop a group of learners. A worthy and achievable purpose for these of us who want to leverage the way in which that social interactions results in sturdy cognitive impressions.[3] Social community evaluation is the examine of interpersonal interactions and community ties. It has lately been utilized to grasp on-line interactions to grasp peer to see interactions and the event of mentoring relationships.[4] This may be carried out in dialogue boards of both kind (instance) listed above, however proof of social community connection could also be extra natural in instance 2. Social community evaluation can be utilized to reply analysis questions comparable to:

  • Who’s reaching out to whom with dialogue responses that reply questions or provide recommendation?
  • To whom do college students flip for help?
  • To what extent is data travelling to all of the contributors?

The next is an instance of what a community evaluation from an internet discussion board can appear to be. This one makes use of colour to designate kind of scholar, dimension to designate participation frequency, and arrows to indicate unidirectional or bi-directional communication.

Viewing the networks like this permit us to make conclusions about the way in which that college students are interacting. There are 10 college students on this class, 4 of that are artwork/design college students. Visible evaluation of this diagram concludes that, for probably the most half, the non artwork/design college students are commenting on just one individual, usually one other non artwork/design main. There are quite a few free software program that permit college to add knowledge from their dialogue boards and create visualizations.[5]

Important discourse evaluation:

I’ve expertise utilizing Gee’s crucial discourse evaluation as a framework to tell my analysis questions and coding[6] and I can advocate it to be used in on-line dialogue boards in artwork historical past programs. His framework presents 7 simple to grasp language constructing components which you could code and analyze for themes in your dialogue board knowledge.

Constructing activity Query(s) Pattern scholar textual content
Significance “How is that this piece of language getting used to make sure issues important or not and in what methods?” (Gee, p. 17). Insert examples of significance right here
Practices “What apply (exercise) or apply(s) (actions) is that this piece of language getting used to enact?” (p. 18).
Identities “What id or identities is that this piece of language getting used to enact…? What id or identities is that this piece of language attributing to others and the way does this assist the speaker or author enact his or her personal id?” (p. 18).
Relationships “What kind of relationship or relationships is that this piece of language in search of to enact with others?” (p. 19).
Politics “What perspective on social items is that this piece of language speaking?” (p. 19).
Connections “How does this piece of language join or disconnect issues?” (p. 19).
Signal techniques and data “How does this piece of language privilege or disprivilege particular signal techniques or other ways of figuring out and believing or claims to data and perception?” (p. 20).

What is beautiful is which you could choose to make use of only some (and even only one) of his language constructing duties in your analysis, relying in your analysis query. Say, for instance, you wish to discover scholar improvement of identities as artwork historians. You need to use Gee’s query to start in search of examples of language that college students use to say their id, and likewise examples wherein they set up their id by contrasting with identities they reject. Right here is an instance of a scholar establishing a brand new id after taking part in a category exercise and reflecting on the expertise.

One might conclude that the pedagogical exercise, mixed with self-reflection, led to a brand new realization of the self. This might be a powerful case (one scholar) however perhaps this development repeats for a number of contributors, cool!

Abstract of key factors:

  • You’ll be able to conduct SoTL utilizing knowledge from the dialogue boards that you just’re already utilizing in your on-line artwork historical past course.
  • IRB assessment will in all probability decide that your analysis is exempt, as long as you’re conscientious of your college students’ knowledge privateness.
  • A pattern of the sorts of analysis which you could conduct utilizing on-line dialogue boards:
    • Demonstration of mastery of the course content material
    • Constructing of a social community
    • A deep dive into the way in which that college students type and categorical opinions, id, company.

[1] This can be a educating and studying idea that Lev Vygotsky calls the “zone of proximal improvement.” (1980) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes.

[2] In keeping with the IRB new insurance policies all analysis that hopes to be shared or revealed is topic to IRB assessment, even assignments collected as a part of a course.

[3] Charles Brunner discusses this in his 1998 guide, The Culture of Education.

[4] Scott, J., & Carrington, P. J. (2011). The SAGE handbook of social network analysis. SAGE publications.

[5] Whereas I don’t personally endorse any explicit software program, I’ve heard good issues about NodeXL and UCInet.

[6] Gee, J.  (2011). Discourse evaluation: What makes it crucial?  In R. Rogers (Ed.), An Introduction to critical discourse analysis in education (2nd Ed.) (pp. 23-45).  New York: Routledge.