Evaluation of student-student interaction

Since it is not enough to obtain an accurate picture of students’ interactions by counting only the number of participation, the purpose of the analysis is to reveal patterns of responses in order to assess how well students responded and interacted with each other. A number of models for the evaluation of the quality of interaction in asynchronous discussion environments are available in the literature. The focus of these models varies, depending on the purposes of the evaluation and the interest of the researchers (Chi Ng & Murphy, 2005). For example, Henri (1992) provided a model to examine the degree of participation in discussion boards and analyzing the quality of content of the participations according to cognitive view of learning. This model has been influential in the analysis interaction content. In this model, the content of interaction is analyzed according to five dimensions. These dimensions are participation, interaction, social, cognitive, and meta-cognitive. Another model provides insights for examining the nature of online interactivity among students through an analysis of the message content provided by Mason (1991). One of the unique features of new era of social networking is that it can help in creating interactive learning environments to engage learners in developing academic discourse, reflect on their responses to others’ questions, and clarify their understanding of new concepts (Fox & MacKeogh, 2003; Chi Ng & Murphy, 2005). Online social networks like Facebook have gained tremendous traction recently as a popular online hangout spaces for learners (Boyd, 2010).