The impact of rotating summarizing roles in online discussions: Effects on learners' listening behaviors during and subsequent to role assignment

Alyssa Friend Wise, Ming Ming Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated whether assigning students summarizing roles in online discussions during specific weeks affects how they attend to the posts of others while playing the role, and in subsequent discussion weeks. Thirty-three students in a large undergraduate course on educational psychology were assigned one of two summarizing roles (Synthesizer, Wrapper) on a rotating basis during six week-long small-group online discussions; demographic and log-file data were collected (N = 198 student-weeks). Multilevel, cross-classification modeling revealed that assigning students summarizing roles increased the breadth of their listening during in-role weeks, but the effect was only weakly sustained after the role was completed. Students taking the Synthesizer role showed some increased depth of listening during in-role weeks but not post-role weeks. Other post-role behavior changes (a reduced number of sessions and review of posts) suggest unintended negative side effects of a role-rotation strategy, possibly due to post-role abdication of responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Asynchronous discussion groups
  • Computer mediated communication
  • Quantitative analysis of computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Role taking
  • Scripting
  • Temporal analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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