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Discussion metrics: Quantitatively measuring intercultural forum engagement
Using the Moodle LMS, the International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject) promotes cultural understanding and the development of English language skills by giving students the opportunity to experience authentic communication with peers in other countries. In 2020, over 7000 tertiary-level students from twelve countries communicated with each other through forums. To ensure a quality experience for as many students as possible, teachers need to actively monitor student engagement. Unfortunately, typical forum reports only provide simple metrics such as word count and number of posts which do not necessarily reflect student interaction. To aid teachers and IVEProject administrators, a new set of Moodle reports was created to provide detailed quantitative forum metrics at the individual student level, the discussion level, the group level and the country level. These reports are currently being trialed as a method to quickly understand student and group engagement. Of primary importance, this data enables administrators, early in the exchange, to identify students with low engagement in the discussions and to plan interventions to improve the quality of the exchange. This presentation will introduce this new Moodle discussion metric report, its role in the IVEProject and data from its trial application in the spring of 2021.
Currently in my 3rd decade of teaching in Japan and teaching Communication to first-year university students up in Hokkaido; Also actively involved in the International Virtual Exchange Project (IVEProject → https://iveproject.org) where students from around the world can use English to learn about different cultures
Adam Jenkins is a lecturer at the Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology where he created and administers the iLearn@SIST e-learning system based on Moodle. In his role as system administrator, Adam oversees nearly 500 online courses taught by more than 80 professors and delivered to over 1,700 students university-wide. In the IVE Project, he serves as system administrator to the IVE Project site: iveproject.org
Eric Hagley is a research fellow at Hosei University, Japan. He has been involved with the Virtual Exchange (VE) being presented here from its inception and has had his students doing VE for the past 12 years. He is the Chair of the Asia Pacific Virtual Exchange Association (APVEA) and in this position is trying to ensure that VE can become mainstream in language classes everywhere.