We recently reported on X-Ray Analytics from Moodlerooms and I’ve had a chance to dive deeper into the research that is the foundation for the tools. One such paper is “Beyond Clickometry: Analytics for Constructivist Pedagogies” by Aleksander Dietrichson. The paper was shared through Research.Moodle.net.
The paper (which I found very interesting) discusses a research approach to discussion forum data in Moodle that could identify students who were not engaging and those who would leading the discussions and promoting critical thinking.
The paper starts with an analysis of what learning analytic data is available to teachers by default (in this case for Moodle 1.9, though many of these reports are still relevant and available in Moodle Core) and then dives into the analysis of discussion forums to learn more about student behavior and contributions.
I think the most interesting material starts on page 11 and continues as the notion of a ‘Critical Thinking Coefficient’ (CTC) is introduced as a way to measure student critical thinking. Page 16 discusses how critical thinking in posts is derived, “Briefly the methodology answers the question of “how much” critical thinking is occurring in each unit of analysis. It does so by assigning codes to each posting (in this case) and weighting and transforming these to a ratio or
“Briefly the methodology answers the question of “how much” critical thinking is occurring in each unit of analysis. It does so by assigning codes to each posting (in this case) and weighting and transforming these to a ratio or coefficient. For this purpose I implemented the methodology as a computer algorithm using open source Natural Language Processing packages…The algorithm assigns a score to each posting based on the presence of vocabulary items as well as collocation indicators.”
In short, the CTC helps to minimize both word count and number of posts as means of measuring critical thinking and takes a more holistic measurement. As mentioned in our original coverage of X-Ray, one of the four main areas is discussion/social interaction so this data and paper are relevant to understanding how X-Ray does its work.
For more info on X-Ray visit http://uki.moodlerooms.com/the-solution/x-ray-analytics/
Note: Moodlenews has no affiliation with Blackboard/Moodlerooms, however my company StraighterLine is hosted by Moodlerooms.