Identifying learning-inductive content in programming discussion forums

Ihan Hsiao, Fatima Naveed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


Online programming discussion forums are popular trouble-shooting and problem-solving sites for programmers and learners to reach out for help. The massive volumes of forum threads harbor tremendous amounts of information, but at the same time increase the complexity of search and navigation. In this work, we make use of programming discussions' syntactic, semantic and social features to model content associated with learning activities based on the ICAP learning framework. Our main goal is to detect useful content for learning programming in a large scale of questions and answers, while at the same time experiment with an artificial intelligence approach to detect learning-inductive content. We build regression models based on the defined constructive learning activities. Results reveal a passive-proactive learning behavior in an online programming discussion forum. The findings also reconfirm the value of programming discussion content, disregarding the crowds' approval. The automatic detection of constructive learning activities from programming discussions can be a helpful classifier in identifying relevant educational resources. Overall, this project contributes to our understanding on analyzing and utilizing mass programming discussion content for online programming language learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • constructive learning
  • discourse analysis
  • discussion forum
  • engagement activity
  • learning activity
  • learning assessment
  • programming
  • programming language learning
  • semantic modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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