This article examines research methods for analyzing social construction of knowledge in online discussion forums. We begin with an examination of the Interaction Analysis Model (Gunawardena, Lowe, & Anderson, 1997) and its applicability to analyzing social construction of knowledge. Next, employing a dataset from an online discussion, we demonstrate how interaction analysis can be supplemented by employing other research techniques such as learning analytics and Social Network Analysis that shed light on the social dynamics that support knowledge construction. Learning analytics is the application of quantitative techniques for analyzing large volumes of distributed data ("big data") in order to discover the factors that contribute to learning (Long & Siemens, 2011, p. 34). Social Network Analysis characterizes the information infrastructure that supports the construction of knowledge in social contexts (Scott, 2012). By combining interaction analysis with learning analytics and Social Network Analysis, we were able to conceptualize the process by which knowledge construction takes place in online platforms.
Information Age Publishing
The Quarterly Review of Distance Education
Social construction of knowledge, online learning, Interaction Analysis, Learning Analytics, Social Network Analysis
Gunawardena, C. N., Flor, N. V., Gomez, D., & Sanchez, D. (2016). Analyzing social construction of knowledge Online by Employing Interaction Analysis, Learning Analytics, and Social Network Analysis. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 17(3), 35-60.
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