Tool for Visualizing Students' Interaction on a Learning Management System

S. Sugawara and N.H. Arai (Japan)


Collaborative E-Learning, Web-based Training,Innovative Teaching and Learning Technologies for Web based Education


The purpose of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is to support students collaboration through their interaction and sharing of information. Since interaction and information sharing are prerequisites to student collaborations, we need to implement functions and an interface that will enhance these aspects. We have set up a web site for collaborative learning using NetCommons. NetCommons is an application that was developed by the National Institute of Informatics in Japan. By installing it, users get a content management system (CMS), a learning management system (LMS), a portal site, and a virtual private office all at the same time on a single server. We have developed a visualization module, named Collabo-MAP, which provides NetCommons with a tool for graphically mapping student-student and teacher student interactions in online forums. Collabo-MAP encourages student interaction in a learning management system, and students positively evaluate Collabo-MAP. Several studies have used a form of visualization for educational purposes, but our research advances the following points: First, we have created a development system for collaborative learning in which the students study in collaboration with each other. Second, the module we developed is good for motivating as well as for managing students. Third, the module is part of a learning management system (LMS).

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