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Title: Exploring changes in network structures during online discussions
Authors: Hurme, Tarja-Riitta
Veermans, Koen
Palonen, Tuire
Järvelä, Sanna
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.
Citation: Hurme, T., Veermans, K., Palonen, T., & Järvelä, S. (2008). Exploring changes in network structures during online discussions. In Kanselaar, G., Jonker, V., Kirschner, P. A., & Prins, F. J. (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008, Volume 1 (pp. 382-389). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine and model changes in communication network structures during online discussions in a virtual course at the university level. Two small groups of Finnish students (N=46) from different universities attended a national virtual course concerning a specific topic in the history of science. The course assignment consisted of participating into seven different discussion topics using Optima, an asynchronous learning environment. The discussions were used to examine communication networks during the course. Social network analysis techniques were used to explore communication networks and changes in these networks at structural and dyadic levels in four discrete time points with the effects of degree, reciprocity, transitivity and 3-cycles modeled by using the conditional method of moments. The results of the study suggest that during a virtual course the participants tend to form subgroups and hierarchical structures as in the same way as any other social community.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2008

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