Using social network analysis for analysing online threaded discussions

Roberto C. Rodríguez-Hidalgo,, Chang Zhu, Frederik Questier, Aida M. Torres-Alfonso

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Abstract

This study analyses the use of online threaded discussions (OTD) through social network analysis (SNA). The participants involved are university students in a Cuban higher education setting. It was conducted in the Programming Technologies course of the Information Sciences, at the Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de Las Villas (UCLV). An intervention study was conducted involving students in Information Sciences during one semester. Both survey research and content analysis for online discussions have been used in this research. The social network analysis shows that online discussions reinforced student peer relationships and network dynamics. Furthermore, it is shown that SNA is a useful approach to analyze students‟ peer interactions in the digital space by comparing the peer relations before OTD and those during the OTD. The results are beneficial for both teachers and students to get a better view of the interaction patterns in online learning activities and thus helpful for further structuring and supporting students in online learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-146
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Volume10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Roberto C. Rodríguez-Hidalgo, Chang Zhu, Frederik Questier & Aida M. Torres-Alfonso (2015). Using social network analysis for analysing online threaded discussions. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) 10 (3). 128-146.

Keywords

  • Online Discussions
  • Social Network Analysis

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