Addressing some Common Problems in Transcript Analysis


  • Patrick J. Fahy Athabasca University



Transcript analysis, Transcript Analysis Tool, TAT


Computer conferencing is one of the more useful parts of computer-mediated communications (CMC), and is virtually ubiquitous in distance education. The temptation to analyze the resulting interaction has resulted in only partial success, however (Henri, 1992; Kanuka and Anderson, 1998; Rourke, Anderson, Garrison and Archer, 1999; Fahy, Crawford, Ally, Cookson, Keller and Prosser, 2000). Some suggest the problem is made more complex by failings of both technique and, more seriously, theory capable of guiding transcript analysis research (Gunawardena, Lowe and Anderson, 1997). We have previously described development and pilot-testing of an instrument and a process for transcript analysis, call the the TAT (Transcript Analysis Tool), based on a model originally developed by Zhu (1996). We found that the instrument and coding procedures used provided acceptable "sometimes excellent" levels of interrater reliability (varying from 70 percent to 94 percent in pilot applications, depending upon user training and practice with the instrument), and that results of pilots indicated the TAT discriminated well among the various types of statements found in online conferences (Fahy, et al., 2000).

Author Biography

Patrick J. Fahy, Athabasca University

Professor Fahy's interests include the relationship between technology and productivity, and what constitutes "best" (or even good) practice where technology is used for interaction. He has been working on an approach for analyzing CMC interaction for some time, which he anticipates will produce some principles for moderators. He also has an ongoing interest in adult development programming (adult basic education, literacy, and English as a Second Language).




How to Cite

Fahy, P. J. (2001). Addressing some Common Problems in Transcript Analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 1(2).



Research Notes