ERIC Number: EJ1127191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Measuring Student Interactions Using Networks: Insights into the Learning Community of a Large Active Learning Course
Buchenroth-Martin, Cynthia; DiMartino, Trevor; Martin, Andrew P.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n3 p90-99 Jan 2017
Collaborative learning in small groups is commonly implemented as a part of student-centered curricula. In large-enrollment courses, details of the interactions among students as a consequence of working in collaborative groups are often unknown but are important because how students interact influences the effectiveness of peer learning. We monitored the interactions of students during a semester in a large-enrollment evolutionary biology class using social network analysis. We discovered that contrary to the expectation separate groups would persist in the classroom, a single large network emerged relatively quickly. The coalescence of all students into a single network largely reflects the effect of individuals that frequently changed groups. Performance in the class--measured by the total number of points accumulated during the semester--was influenced by a student's degree centrality, sex, GPA, and attendance and by an interaction between GPA and sex. Our study and others highlight the potential of social network analysis for advancing education and educational research.
Descriptors: Interaction, Active Learning, Social Networks, Network Analysis, Cooperative Learning, Grade Point Average, Biology, College Students, College Science, Science Instruction, Academic Achievement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A