Organization, Information and Learning Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-30-2018


This mixed methods research project examined social construction of knowledge and social networks in three non-structured student centered online discussion forums, which were part of a graduate online course on web conferencing in Spanish within the Mexican sociocultural context. The purpose of the study was to identify interaction patterns among twenty-one graduate students by analyzing discussion forum posts, measuring student centrality, and generating social network diagrams in order to explain the characteristics of posts and social networks that may contribute to social construction of knowledge.

The researcher used a sequential approach, starting with the application of an interaction analysis model and social network analysis, followed by a combination of both analyses to shed light on interaction in online discussion forums carried out in Spanish. The researcher found evidence of interaction patterns that suggest a possible relationship between the centrality measure in-degree and high levels of social construction of knowledge, furthermore results suggest dissonance or disagreement in student-to-student interaction may also contribute to the achievement of more complex phases of social construction of knowledge.

Degree Name

Organization, Information and Learning Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Organization, Information & Learning Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Charlotte Gunawardena

Second Committee Member

Vanessa Lynn Svihla

Third Committee Member

Nick Vincent Flor

Fourth Committee Member

Robert Grassberger




online discussion forums, social construction of knowledge, centrality, interaction analysis, social network analysis, mixed methods

Document Type