Data Analysis of Virtual Learning Environment: Using the Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis Technique with the Support of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software


Through our experience, we aim to encourage researchers to consider various technical and methodological aspects of possible educational research that can be undertaken from a virtual learning environment, defined as a system for delivering learning materials to students via the web. This system includes assessment, student tracking, collaboration and communication tools. Virtual learning environments allow researchers to store various documents easily and efficiently, but to use these data for subsequent analysis, they must conduct a series of operations for transforming and organizing the data. Central to the success of research to be carried out is the choice of analysis techniques and data analysis software. In our case, we considered techniques derived from qualitative content analysis and chose computer-mediated discourse analysis, supported by specific computer software (e.g. ATLAS.ti), generally known as computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. The case that we present here is part of the project titled Service-Learning Virtualization. Digital Resources and Virtual Learning Communities in the Web 2.0, which was carried out at the School of Teacher Training and Education in the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Data collected from 456 students of two degrees were stored in our virtual learning environment (Moodle) and analysed.

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