Community of practice online, the importance of technology for learning: an application of Social Network Analysis

Stefania Fantinelli, Vanessa Russo

Abstract


The pervasiveness of technology is affecting also the education field, so it is possible to evaluate whether technology can foster collaboration among students or improve the learning outcomes.
A community of practice online is the subject of the present study, it represents a kind of blended learning which is defined as the integration of classroom face-to-face learning with online learning experiences with the objective to increase students’ engagement and motivation.
A recent experience of blended learning education has been carried out by four Italian Universities and in the present research study we have implemented social network analysis technique in order to observe online interactions of students, thus describing the nodes that exert the most influence in the group and to evaluate if the online interactions can positively affect the learning process.
As result we can state that the outcomes of social network analysis are valuable information for teachers and tutors in order to facilitate participation and collaboration, that in turn promote an effective learning process.

Keywords


community of practice online; blended learning; social network analysis.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20368/1971-8829/1545



Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2018 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).