Semantic Text Theme Generation in Collaborative Online Learning Environments
Abstract: Online students' ability to self-regulate led to focused attention and time on-task. Given a need for more theoretical work in this area, as well as the potential practical benefits, we sought to compare differences between high versus low-collaboration teams in an online assignment to determine if higher levels of student-to-student collaboration lead to higher levels of semantic writing. Specifically, we explored how the use of collaboration technologies such as Google Docs and Google Hangouts impacted the level of ideas generated while participating in a group project. It was found that in terms of total generated semantic themes, low collaboration groups developed significantly more than their high collaboration counterparts in both online discussions and post course meta-reflective blog writings. The high collaboration students did, however, generate a wider variety of unique semantic themes in both the online discussions and blog posts.