CIDER session, May 5

You’re invited to the next presentation in our series of free CIDER sessions. This session features a presentation and discussion with Geoffrey Roulet, Queens University at Kingston.

Title:  Message Interactions in Online Asynchronous Discussions: The Problem of Being “Too Nice”

Much research concerning asynchronous online discussion reports quantitative data such as frequency of posting, time online, and number of characters or words. To effectively understand online discourse within education environments we need to go beyond such measures and study the interactions between messages and how these interactions contribute to the construction of collective knowledge. Complexity science suggests that the emergence of new group understandings requires both redundancy (agreement) and divergence (disagreement) in the interactions between contributed ideas.

Studies, focusing on graduate course asynchronous discussions spaced almost 20 years apart and employing a coding system developed from Fisher’s interact system model (ISM), have shown a lack of messages expressing explicit disagreement. Online discussions, with their limited channels for mutual social support, appear to encourage a student tendency towards being “too nice”. Course participants camouflage disagreements in ambiguous postings that, while avoiding potential offence, do not effectively contribute to the progress of debate.

When:  Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 11am-12pm MT (Edmonton)

Where:  Online via Elluminate at:

Please make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that we can use the Voice over IP functionality built into the web conferencing software. Please note that it is extremely important that you get your system set up prior to the start of the event. Information on installing the necessary software and configuring your PC is available at in the “First Time Users” section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s