Using Social Network Analysis to Explore Digital Student Interactions and Business Competency Learning in a Web-based Educational Platform

Using Social Network Analysis to Explore Digital Student Interactions and Business Competency Learning in a Web-based Educational Platform

Andrew Feldstein (Department of Management and Marketing, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA, USA) and Kim Gower (Department of Management and Marketing, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/ijissc.2015010101
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Abstract

Web 2.0 tools occupy a large part of our lives, and their use in the classroom offers instructors a unique opportunity to gather substantial information about individual and interactive student behaviors. The authors' challenge is understanding the implications of this rich data source for assessing course efficacy and student learning, and applying these insights to further enhance the development of global business competencies. This paper reviews 311 student interactions as reflected in comments exchanged in a digital social learning community and, using social network analysis, discusses the potential to use these interactions to assess student critical thinking, communication, and collaborative feedback skills. The authors conclude with implications and recommendations for instructors who want to use Web 2.0 platforms and data to enhance their understanding of student and class digital interactions, and apply this information to course enhancement.
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Learning, Developing Skills, And Assessing In A Virtual World

Information and communication technologies (ICT’s) are now a ubiquitous part of our students’ everyday lives. The number of virtual tools available for student use grows every day and run from blogs to cloud computing (storing information on a web-based site versus directly on personal hardware) to social networking sites (Demski, 2010). In fact, this generation of college students is the first to be entering the work world with a lack of work experience and employer references, so their online history may play a large role in an employer’s evaluation (Melton, Miller, & Salmona, 2012).

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