Presentation Title

Constructing SPEQ-DB: A Simple Program for Enhancing Quality in Online Discussion Boards

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#80

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

This research focuses on how a simple algorithm can be used to evaluate and influence the quality and flow of online conversations resulting in greater topic-focus and more readable discussion posts. Our algorithm is implemented into a new discussion board system, SPEQ-DB, to provide users with a more responsive way to view the quality of their posts prior to their submission.

Prior to the design of SPEQ-DB, a preliminary analysis of 1,629 online conversations was mined for readability and keyword density. Readability was accessed using Readability Metrics, an open-source application programming interface (API) for managing texts and their readability scores. Key-word density was calculated as a ratio of total keywords found over total words posted minus all stop-words. A keyword is defined as any vocabulary word important to the domain of the discussion. This preliminary analysis discovered that while readability increased from originations to responses, there were decreases in response readability and keyword density.

By utilizing a social network analysis (SNA) using NodeXL, it was discovered that a user with high post quality tended to be more central to the network. This implies that as the quality of user posts increases, the number of responses that user receives also increases, thus increasing the density of the social network.

To measure SPEQ-DB, the following research questions are posed:

R1: To what extent will SPEQ-DB enhance the quality of origination and response posts in online conversations?

R2: To what extent will SPEQ-DB increase levels of network density within an online community?

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Constructing SPEQ-DB: A Simple Program for Enhancing Quality in Online Discussion Boards

HUB 302-#80

This research focuses on how a simple algorithm can be used to evaluate and influence the quality and flow of online conversations resulting in greater topic-focus and more readable discussion posts. Our algorithm is implemented into a new discussion board system, SPEQ-DB, to provide users with a more responsive way to view the quality of their posts prior to their submission.

Prior to the design of SPEQ-DB, a preliminary analysis of 1,629 online conversations was mined for readability and keyword density. Readability was accessed using Readability Metrics, an open-source application programming interface (API) for managing texts and their readability scores. Key-word density was calculated as a ratio of total keywords found over total words posted minus all stop-words. A keyword is defined as any vocabulary word important to the domain of the discussion. This preliminary analysis discovered that while readability increased from originations to responses, there were decreases in response readability and keyword density.

By utilizing a social network analysis (SNA) using NodeXL, it was discovered that a user with high post quality tended to be more central to the network. This implies that as the quality of user posts increases, the number of responses that user receives also increases, thus increasing the density of the social network.

To measure SPEQ-DB, the following research questions are posed:

R1: To what extent will SPEQ-DB enhance the quality of origination and response posts in online conversations?

R2: To what extent will SPEQ-DB increase levels of network density within an online community?