An Analysis of Online Bulletin Board Discussions Using Posting Transitions




online discussion, network analysis, critical thinking, student's characteristics, learning activity


Online discussion transitions were analysed as a means of furthering the development of critical thinking disposition of students and their attitude toward disaster mitigation. The discussion was organised as an additional learning activity during a fully online course. The participant's posted messages were analysed using a network analysis technique in order to promote discussion and learning performance. The posting chain was represented as an adjacency matrix and posting relationships were analysed. The results suggest that discussant’s activity shows a hierarchical structure, with some participants posting in response to lecturer's instructions. Posting participants were classified into several clusters, and these characteristics were analysed. Though single-posting participants were not active discussants, their characteristics, including their learning performance, could be readily recognised correctly during the analysis.

Author Biography

Minoru Nakayama, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Dr. Minoru Nakayama is currently a professor at Information and Communications Engineering, and formerly worked for CRADLE (the Centre for R & D of Educational Technology), Tokyo Institute of Technology. His scientific research interest is human visual perception, human-computer interaction and educational technology. He has research experience at University of Sussex, UK, and LIRMM, University Montpellier2, France, and has memberships of ACM, BERA, IEICE, JPA, etc.