University Libraries & Learning Sciences Faculty and Staff Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

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.

Publisher

Information Age Publishing

Publication Title

The Quarterly Review of Distance Education

ISSN

1528-3518

Volume

17

Issue

3

First Page

35

Last Page

60

Language (ISO)

English

Keywords

Social construction of knowledge, online learning, Interaction Analysis, Learning Analytics, Social Network Analysis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Comments

Pre-print version.

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