Layout Considered Harmful: On the Influence of Information Architecture on Dialogue
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- Purgathofer P., Luckner N. (2014) Layout Considered Harmful: On the Influence of Information Architecture on Dialogue. In: Zaphiris P., Ioannou A. (eds) Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Designing and Developing Novel Learning Experiences. LCT 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 8523. Springer, Cham
Discussions are an important tool for students to engage with new content, bring up new ideas and generate knowledge. This paper focuses on the representation of asynchronous online discussion forums in an e-learning context and how it influences the outcome of discussions. We compare the results of a traditional discussion visualisation - a vertically threaded comment system - to the two dimensional system Discourse, in which every new statement of the discussion opens a new subthread. We draw our conclusions from a qualitative analysis of pairs of discussions on the same topic conducted in both systems. Our findings suggest that discussions in Discourse are more focused and goal-oriented than in traditional threaded system.
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