Understanding Classrooms through Social Network Analysis: A Primer for Social Network Analysis in Education Research

Daniel Z. Grunspan, Benjamin L. Wiggins, Steven M. Goodreau, Life Sciences Education, Apr 09, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The paper is a couple of years old but I thought it was a good introductory deep dive into social network analysis (SNA) for education. It contains good practical advice for people who want to apply SNA in their own educational research (for example, recognizing and dealing with survey fatigue). It also describes how to test for specific hypotheses, for example, whether there is a correlation between link-formation and learning outcomes. "Conceivably, network analysis can be used to describe the structure of seemingly ethereal concepts such as reputation, charisma, and teaching ability through the social assessment of peers and stakeholders."

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