For my master’s thesis, I compared online discussions in a graduate education course, some hosted in Blackboard (before we switched to D2L), some in WordPress (which is still going strong – this class site is running on it). Part of my research was to visualize discourse – who talked to whom, in response to which post, when, and what was said. I did some additional coding of the content itself, to crack it open beyond simple metadata analysis. But, here’s a view of metadata for wordpress posts for a semester. Y axis is “size” of the post (in # of words). X axis is time (day # of semester). Lines connect posts and responses. Colours indicate which participant made each post.