Mapping e-Learning Interactions using Social Network Analysis

Á. Figueira (Portugal)


Visualization of interaction, Automatic graph drawing,Discussion forums, Social network analysis, Temporaldimension, Web-based learning.Categories and Subject DescriptorsH.5.2 [User Interfaces]: User interfaces.H.5.3 [Group and Organization Interfaces]:Asynchronous interaction, Web-based interaction.K.3.1 [Computer Uses in Education]: Computermanaged instruction, Distance learning.


The interactions that occur among participants in online forums frequently are an important criteria in evaluating learning methodologies practiced in e-learning contexts. Not only are the interactions between peers an important resource of information, but also, the way the teacher interacts with students. However, apart from general statistics available in common online learning platforms, this type of information is difficult to retrieve. A graphical mapping based on social network analysis theory, of such interactions that occur in online environments, is proposed as a possible solution for automatically depicting and analyzing relations that are established between participants in online forums. In this paper we present a system which provides learning management systems with an additional tool for graphically mapping and analyzing student-student and teacher-student interactions. The system represents both current network interactions and a historical graphical slideshow of online interactions between participants.

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