Revista mexicana de investigación educativa
Print version ISSN 1405-6666
The current study analyzes the interaction among peers in two virtual discussion forums (structured and unstructured). The analysis of data considered: 1) the interactive and discursive strategies employed by participants, and 2) the knowledge produced (number of ideas and use of concepts). The results show that differences exist in the number of interactive and discursive strategies employed by the students in both forums (structured discussion: discursive, 122, and interactive, 141; unstructured discussion: discursive, 51, and interactive, 48). More ideas (121) and concepts (21) were produced in the structured discussion forum than in the unstructured forum (number of ideas: 63, concepts: 13). The obtained data suggest that the instructional design used to organize discussion in forums has a considerable effect on the knowledge constructed by the participants.
Keywords : virtual education; computerized instruction; education and technology; Information and Communication Technologies; Mexico.