Asee peer logo

Stuck in the Middle: The Impact and Prevalence of Frustration in Online Question-Answer Discussion Threads

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1184.1 - 25.1184.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Michael Hergenrader University of Southern California

visit author page

Michael Hergenrader is a senior majoring in computer science and Spanish. His interests include distributed systems, machine learning, and search technologies. At the Informational Sciences Institute at ISI and at IBM, he is able to work with pride and happiness in all that he does.

visit author page


Jihie Kim University of Southern California

visit author page

Jihie Kim is the Principal Investigator of the Intelligent Technologies for Teaching and Learning group in the USC Information Sciences Institute ( She is also a Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University Of Southern California (USC). Kim received a Ph.D. from the USC, and master’s and a bachelor’s degrees from the Seoul National University. Her current interests include pedagogical discourse analysis, human-computer interaction, social network assistance, and assessment of student collaborative online activities.

visit author page

author page

Erin Shaw University of Southern California

Download Paper |


:-) : Sentiments and their Roles in Online Engineering DiscussionsOnline enrollment is booming from an economy that demands an increase in class size to lowercosts and from the increasing role of technology in education. In the process, effectivecommunication comparable to that received in the classroom is demanded online. With an intentto measure the progress of this transition and suggest techniques for improving collaboration at adistance, this paper analyzes, based on forum data from an undergraduate computer sciencecourse, sentiment and speech patterns in discussions about collaborative coding projects.These sentiment-based discourse patterns, employed independently from any of the course’sspecific topics, not only help to understand how the students and instructors interact online froma pedagogical perspective but also, in combination with project performance and demographicdata, detect early signs of which students may require more assistance. Our analysis providesinstructors with knowledge to adjust for this asynchronous environment, allowing them toimprove their interaction with students and help them achieve more. Thus, it will serve to notonly better the quantity of online educational discussions, but also promote the quality ofresponses and overall student participation.

Hergenrader, M., & Kim, J., & Shaw, E. (2012, June), Stuck in the Middle: The Impact and Prevalence of Frustration in Online Question-Answer Discussion Threads Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21941

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015