The diagram reflects the individual posts of the members of a group in the online course ALGC. Ignore the colours, they don’t mean anything. Note though that the letters indicate order of posting, from the opening of a discussion activity – which was to agree a group name. The connections indicate the next and the last person who posted, relative to the individual.
So what does this mean?
It says nothing about the quality of posts, just the volume of posts, and to a limited extent the sequence of posts. It does indicate who may have interacted with who though. What you would really need to do is indicate who initiated conversations, who replied to other students, and whose discussion posts moved the conversation forwards.
This was not my group, and there is anonymity here, since the discussions were secure behind a password protected firewall. Not all students managed to participate within the time limit, and N, O and P joined the discussion late. They did not make up for lost time by replying to other people’s posts though. A,C, D,K and M were very proactive and would make good learning partners, since they are chatty and responsive. Most students were somewhere in between these two previous groups.
What on earth is difficult about agreeing a name for a group?
Accessing the VLE, slow internet connections, hardware and software incompatibilities, lack of time, problems registering, not knowing which group they were part of (in the case of three students in total, one from this group). What were there barriers to learning? I am planning some research into barriers to learning, so the answers would be interesting… please leave your comments here colleagues if you would like to.