Title: Group communication analysis: A computational-linguistic framework for exploring conversational roles in online multi-party communication
This talk will present results from recent work that uses language to assess social dynamics during collaborative interactions. I will introduce group communication analysis (GCA), a novel approach for detecting emergent learner roles from the participants’ contributions and patterns of interaction. This method makes use of automated computational linguistic analysis of the sequential interactions of participants in online group communication to create distinct interaction profiles. We have applied the GCA to several collaborative learning datasets. Cluster analysis, predictive, and hierarchical linear mixed-effects modeling were used to assess the validity of the GCA approach, and practical influence of learner roles on student and overall group performance. The results indicate that learners’ patterns in linguistic coordination and cohesion are representative of the roles that individuals play in collaborative discussions. More broadly, GCA provides a framework for researchers to explore the micro intra- and inter-personal patterns associated with the participants’ roles and the sociocognitive processes related to successful collaboration.
Bio: Nia Dowell is a cognitive psychology doctoral candidate at the Institute for Intelligent Systems in the University of Memphis. Nia is currently pursuing her PhD under the mentorship of Professor Arthur Graesser. Her primary interests are in cognitive psychology, discourse processing and learning sciences. In general, her research focuses on using language and discourse to uncover the dynamics of socially significant, cognitive, and affective processes. She is currently applying computational techniques to model discourse and social dynamics in a variety of learning environments including teacher education programs, intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), small group computer-mediated collaborative learning environments, and massive open online courses (MOOCs). Her research has also extended beyond the educational and learning sciences spaces and highlighted the practical applications of computational discourse science in the clinical, political and social sciences areas.