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Supporting Interaction Outside of Class: Anchored Discussions vs. Discussion Boards

Supporting Interaction Outside of Class: Anchored Discussions vs. Discussion Boards,A. J. Bernheim Brush,David Bargeron,Jonathan Grudin,Alan Borning,A

Supporting Interaction Outside of Class: Anchored Discussions vs. Discussion Boards   (Citations: 27)
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Newsgroups and online discussion boards have long been used to supplement class discussions. We describe a study comparing the use of two systems, WebAnn and EPost, to support class discussion of technical papers in a graduate course. WebAnn is a shared annotation system that supports anchored discussions on web pages, and allows users to easily associate comments with a particular paragraph, phrase, or word in the paper being discussed. EPost is a high- quality conventional discussion board system. In our study, students contributed almost twice as much to the online discussion using WebAnn. WebAnn also encouraged a different discussion style, focused on specific points in the paper. We expected WebAnn discussions to serve as a starting point for in-depth discussions in the classroom; but in fact, online discussions often competed with classroom discussions. We conclude with implications of the study for technology design and the process of its use.
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