Abstract: Various Web 2.0 technologies can be used to support pedagogy. Examples include wikis, blogs, and social media including forum discussions. Online class forum discussions involving electronic text can result in robust strings of data containing meta-knowledge, inherent meaning, themes and patterns. Based on instructional design, learning outcomes guide and reflect class generated work product such as assignments, activities, and discussions. As such, class discussions should evolve with alignment to learning outcomes. One measurement of instructional efficacy involves the closeness with which this alignment occurs. In this experimental research the authors report on the design and prototyping of an architecture utilizing a tag cloud engine to determine dominant and emerging themes from a text string, namely word data collected from a threaded discussion. Textual data used in this investigation involved two Information Systems online classes where threaded discussions during one week were captured as a text string. Text from a learning management system threaded discussion was fed into a tag cloud engine where emerging and dominant asynchronous conversation themes were determined. Calculating a correlation coefficient as an indicator of pedagogical efficacy, the application evaluated the pedagogical efficacy evidenced in the discussion forum through comparison of themes with instructional objectives. In this experimental research, a real-time online analytical processing (OLAP) tool prototype to support pedagogical intelligence via systemic formative evaluation was designed and developed. Findings from the investigation were used to reach conclusions regarding the use of Web 2.0 technologies in guiding instruction.
Keywords: Web 2.0, eLearning, tag cloud, word cloud, correlation, coefficient
Download this article: ISEDJ - V9 N6 Page 51.pdf
Recommended Citation: Conn, S. S., Hall, S., English, J., Scheffler, F. (2011). Tag Clouds as a Pathway to Improved Pedagogical Efficacy in Information Systems Courses: A Baseline Study Involving Web 2.0 Technologies . Information Systems Education Journal, 9(6) pp 51-59. http://isedj.org/2011-9/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2010)