Exploratory study on the patterns of online interaction and knowledge co-construction in project-based learning

Heeok Heo, Kyu Yon Lim, Youngsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


This study aims to investigate the patterns and the quality of online interaction during project-based learning (PjBL) on both micro and macro levels. To achieve this purpose, PjBL was implemented with online group activities in an undergraduate course. Social network analysis (SNA) and content analysis were employed to analyze online interaction during project work. According to the SNA results generated from the online discussion boards, the group cohesiveness of seven teams, indicated by density indices, varied considerably, from as low as 9.81 to as high as 30.00. Regarding the content analysis of two teams with high project scores (Teams F and G), team members not only shared information (Phase I), but also identified the areas of disagreement and clarified the goals and strategies (Phase II). They also conducted some negotiations (Phase III). However, team members with low project scores (Teams C and E) shared information and stated their opinions in most cases (Phase I), with not much social construction in the higher level. Although both Team C and G showed high level of group cohesiveness among the seven teams, it is notable that the high-performing Team G dedicated nearly 39.3 percent of online discussion to negotiating and co-constructing knowledge, contrary to the 5.9 percent of low-performing Team C. Based upon the findings, some implications were proposed for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1392
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (KRF-2009-32A-B00172).


  • Content analysis
  • Online interaction
  • Project-based Learning
  • Social construction of knowledge
  • Social network analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploratory study on the patterns of online interaction and knowledge co-construction in project-based learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this