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StevenM

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  1. This paper examines participation in online forums, focusing on asynchronous text-based discussions within small groups of learners after a learning event or course. Through three case studies, the research highlights adult learners' experiences, revealing overall positive attitudes towards the forums but noting lower-than-desired participation levels. The study identifies three participation patterns: non-participation, quiet participation, and communicative participation. It emphasizes the communicative learner—those who participate regularly and positively engage with the group. A profile of the communicative learner underscores the importance of fluency, coherence, and informality. The paper discusses the issues related to online participation and their implications for fostering communicative participation.
  2. This study examines the effectiveness of various feature representations and techniques for analyzing affective intensities in computer-mediated communication. It compares learned n-grams and different affect lexicons, and introduces the support vector regression correlation ensemble (SVRCE) method for enhanced affect intensity classification. SVRCE employs an ensemble of classifiers, each tailored to a specific affect class, and incorporates affect correlation information for improved predictions. Experiments on web forums, blogs, and online stories demonstrate that learned n-grams outperform lexicon-based representations and that SVRCE surpasses other techniques like Pace regression and WordNet models. Ablation testing confirms that SVRCE's success is due to its use of feature ensembles and affect correlation information. A case study highlights the utility of these features and techniques in analyzing large online discourse archives.
  3. In early 2003, the Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards (CMILS) of the National Research Council (NRC) held regional forums in Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. These forums included representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO), national governments, workers' and employers' organizations, NGOs, and academia. The purpose was to gather diverse international perspectives on monitoring compliance with international labor standards, especially in developing countries. CMILS has also held similar forums in the United States and conducted workshops on data quality, legal frameworks, and the connection between human capital development and labor standards compliance.
  4. Social Forums, inspired by the World Social Forums, are not traditional social movements but rather platforms that unite various social movements and facilitate coalition-building, often around urban issues. They significantly contribute to social change by fostering collaboration among diverse groups. While they have the potential to form the basis of an international social movement, this would likely require a specific political program. The article also offers concrete suggestions to enhance the effectiveness of Social Forums.
  5. This article investigates student engagement and the role of instructors in asynchronous discussion forums within fully online courses, focusing on two large computing subjects over two consecutive semesters. Using a grounded theory approach, the research analyzes discussion forum activities to determine what constitutes quality interaction according to students and instructors. The study's findings lead to the proposal of two frameworks designed to enhance effective online interaction in fully online learning environments.
  6. This study evaluated the publishing journals and forums considered important by management information systems (MIS) scholars, focusing on the influence of their education, role orientation, and academic lifestyle. The top three journals identified were MIS Quarterly, Communications of the ACM, and Information Systems Research. The leading forums were the International Conference on Information Systems, the Decision Science Institute conference, and the Hawaii International Conference on System Science.
  7. This paper explores the use of hybrid forums as participatory devices in Constitución, Chile, after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami, examining their role in the democratization of expertise. By detailing the genealogy, organization, and outcomes of these forums, the paper identifies three critical tensions: the concept versus the practical application of hybrid forums, the balance between emergent and procedural collaboration dynamics, and the constraints on what counts as political voice. The study highlights the limitations faced by these forums in addressing pre-existing controversies and incorporating diverse political voices, particularly those of local fishermen. It concludes that hybrid forums must not only respond to existing uncertainties but also engage in creating new uncertainties.
  8. Alternative globalisation activists promote respect for diversity and oppose cultural uniformity, creating the Social Forums as an ideal convergence model characterized by inclusivity, "open spaces," and non-deliberative meetings. Despite these ideals, real-world implementation faces challenges due to participant behavior and structural limitations. The World Social Forums, rather than unifying all factions, serve as platforms for debate and coordination, respecting differences. However, their growth, organizational burden, institutionalization, and democratic shortcomings present potential threats.
  9. This ideographic case study examines the use of large online discussion forums in a Level 2 undergraduate module at a large distance learning university, focusing on the forum's role in fostering a community of practice (COP), student identity, and motivation. With over 1,000 students participating, the study employs qualitative methodology to explore how participation impacts academic and social integration. Findings suggest that while forums can enhance academic integration and identity, they also pose barriers that negatively affect student motivation and online identity.
  10. This study investigates the benefits and difficulties of using online discussion forums in Learning Management Systems from the instructors' perspective. It aims to provide strategies and improvements to create a more participatory forum environment. Using coding procedures to analyze data from semi-structured interviews, the study offers insights relevant to the distance learning community, including instructors, developers, and researchers, to enhance the quality of forum mediation and use.
  11. Online mental health support forums, such as Big White Wall, are growing in popularity and provide valuable anonymous support and information. However, there are concerns about potential negative outcomes for users. Big White Wall addresses these risks with 24-hour professional moderation. A comparison between Big White Wall’s members and the population of a London borough reveals a diverse user group, with a higher likelihood of members being female, aged 25 to 34, or unemployed.
  12. This study surveyed 364 information systems faculty to rate 51 journals and 13 conferences in the field. Faculty also indicated whether each journal primarily disseminates information systems research. The study determined relative rankings for each outlet and compared these findings to previous studies, noting overall stability in rankings. Some journals and conferences were rated for the first time, and there was a significant increase in the ratings of journals dedicated solely to information systems research.
  13. This paper explores the effectiveness of discussion forums in massive open online courses (MOOCs), focusing on their role in promoting engagement and learning. Through a literature review and analysis of data from a MOOC at the University of Warwick, the study compares forum participation across two delivery modes. Findings reveal that overall forum use is low, tutor moderation can inhibit participant discussion, and peer-support forums often fail to provide sufficient support.
  14. This study investigates the impact of structured and unstructured online discussion forums on student engagement in college classrooms. By analyzing responses related to feedback, modeling, and empowerment, the study finds that while students respond positively to both types of forums, structured forums are generally perceived as more engaging. The concept of "structure" in forums and its manipulation to enhance student engagement are discussed.
  15. This article addresses the lack of interaction between mass media and their audiences, examining the potential for increased interactivity through the Internet. Despite the rise of online platforms, traditional mass media remain relevant and may even enhance their role as providers of a shared lifeworld. The article reviews theoretical implications from the perspectives of the Frankfurt School and public journalism, identifies settings and levels of interactivity in online journalism, and presents an exploratory study of New York Times journalists and forum participants to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of mass media online.
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