Factors Influencing Meaning Construction in Online Teacher Education Candidate Threaded Discussion Postings
Abstract: This study used preservice teacher education credential candidates’ threaded discussion postings to analyze how social presence and saliency mediate meaning construction in asynchronous online discussions. In five online classrooms wherein the same instructor taught the same course on educational psychology, threaded discussion postings were studied to help understand how the social presence (quality) and saliency (times read) of asynchronous speech acts mediate meaning construction in online asynchronous discussions. The study reveals that, although nearly equal in their frequency because of task requirements, threaded discussion posting vary greatly in their social presence with regard to their quality and they vary greatly with regard to their saliency, with some postings being read by nearly all candidates and other postings only being read only by the author and the instructor. Such findings challenge the facilitative and supportive function of asynchronous threaded discussion postings in meaning construction.