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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: ZA, H1
This paper discusses the process of analysing online discussion and argues for the merits of mixed methods. Much research of online participation and e-learning has been either message focused or person focused analysis. The former covers methodologies such as content and discourse analysis, the latter interviewing and surveys. The paper discusses the strength and weaknesses of these approaches in the context of a study of an online social educational network for gifted students. Here interviews, questionnaire survey and content analysis were all used in order to explore the process of online discussion and the experience of taking part. The paper argues for a mixed approach in which different types of data can be compared and contrasted. Such triangulation is time-consuming but it allows for a comprehensive picture of the use of the network and the experience of online participation.

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