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ERIC Number: EJ814127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-1436-4522
A Study of the Relationship between Student Social Networks and Sense of Community
Dawson, Shane
Educational Technology & Society, v11 n3 p224-238 2008
As the integration of community-centred teaching practices intensifies, an understanding of the types of relationships that manifest in this network and the associated impact on student learning is required. This paper explores the relationship between a student's position in a classroom social network and their reported level of sense of community. Quantitative methods, such as Rovai's (2002b) Classroom Community Scale and social network centrality measures, were incorporated to evaluate an individual's level of sense of community and their position within the classroom social network. Qualitative methods such as discussion forum content analysis and student interviews were adopted to clarify and further inform this relationship. The results demonstrate that the centrality measures of "closeness" and "degrees" are positive predictors of an individual's reported sense of community whereas, "betweenness" indicates a negative correlation. Qualitative analyses indicate that an individual's pre-existing external social network influences the type of support and information exchanges an individual requires and therefore, the degree of sense of community ultimately experienced. The paper concludes by discussing future recommendations for teaching practices incorporating computer-mediated communications. (Contains 4 figures and 5 tables.)
International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. Athabasca University, School of Computing & Information Systems, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada. Tel: 780-675-6812; Fax: 780-675-6973; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A