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@2006 Ed Gallagher, Professor of English, Lehigh Lab Fellow. Lehigh University.
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THE "SERVE": MAJOR FINDINGS

  • about 50% of the class felt good about their first post, about 50% tentative
  • about 50% of the class saw a community purpose in their first post, about 50% a personal one
  • about 50% of the class used the five eyes directly or indirectly to make the first post, a large portion of the others reported getting their ideas from the novel or others' posts
  • 2/3's of the class posted their first and only idea, 1/3 weighed options before posting
  • 1/3 of the students wrote "to" their fellow students, another 1/3 saw their audience as a combination of teacher and class
  • nobody reported negative feelings, but about 1/2 the respondents reported tentative feelings after posting
  • the largest number of respondents, about 50%, read only 1-5 of the 20 posts of others; only 2 students read all the posts of others
  • the most popular reasons for selecting which posts of others to read were 1) because they were on the board before they posted (thus, not much evidence of going back to the board after posting) and 2) because of interesting titles
  • regarding the value of reading posts by others, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with diversity of opinion and stimulation for their own ideas as the main reasons, although a rather troubling desire to conform to the ideas of others was also noticeable
  • I concurred with student choices for "best" post; they were able to recognize good writing
  • The reasons students gave for choosing the "best" post were primarily on elements of form and technique rather than on content, ideas, interest, attraction, engagement, or on what they learned from the post