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Social Networks

The articles I’ve read on social network analysis point to great potential. I’ve yet to see this technology move past the “oh, cool!” stage and into something of greater use. I would still like to see network visualizations of how students interact in an online course or community learning environment…and how that relates to student performance…i.e. do successful students associate with successful students? Or does student to student contact not link directly to educational success? With that said, here’s an article on Social Networks: “Social networks are responsible for many of the structures of power and influence in our world. It’s not always easy to recognise their structure and behaviour. The visualisation and analysis of social networks can help considerably in knowing them.”


  1. Steven Hornik wrote:

    Actually there has been some research done looking at how students interact, etc. If your interested here are a few citations that you might want to check out:

    Haythornthwaite, C. Building social networks via computer networks: creating and sustaining distributed learning communities. In K. A. Renninger & W. Shumar (Eds) Building Virtual Communities: Learning and Change in Cyberspace. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

    Haythornthwaite, C. (2003). Supporting distributed relationships: Social networks of relations and media use over time. Electronic Journal of Communication, 13(1). Available at (may require membership in CIOS to view; Paper appears in a special issue on ?The Interpersonal Internet? edited by Nancy Baym:

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Taran wrote:

    I think we’ll find that social networking (which used to known as ‘social circles’, then ‘networking’…) will be found to be as confusing as it is now.

    What’s more, the study will be flawed because people will be trying to maximize on what is learned, and inadvertently skewing the studies to whatever theory is presently ‘en vogue’ within the ‘social networking clique’.

    Frankly, I think that this is worse than unfettered genetic research.

    Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 5:31 pm | Permalink