An Analysis of Evaluative Comments in Teachers’ Online Discussions of Representations of Practice

Jan. 10, 2015

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, 66(1), January/February 2015, p. 35-50.

In this study, the authors inspected teachers’ online discussions of animations of classroom episodes realized with cartoon characters, looking at the difference in the content of conversation turns when members made evaluative comments and when they did not make evaluative comments.

They were interested in finding out whether making evaluative comments correlated with participants’ reflection on their professional practice and proposal of alternative teaching actions.
For that purpose, the authors used systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to develop a coding scheme that attended to evaluation, alternatives, and reflection in forum discussions.

They found statistically significant evidence that the more the participants actively evaluated the teaching in the animations, the more they proposed alternative teaching actions and reflected on instructional practice.
The authors relate these findings to the notion of social presence in online discussions.

Updated: Dec. 28, 2015