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Caroline Haythornthwaite, Maarten de Laat & Bieke Schreurs

In: The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research

Chapter 13: A Social Network Analytic Perspective on E-Learning

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A Social Network Analytic Perspective on E-Learning
A Social Network Analytic Perspective on E-Learning
Caroline HaythornthwaiteMaarten de LaatBieke Schreurs
Introduction

Social network analysis (SNA) has become a popular method for understanding and visualizing patterns, structures and dynamics in online networks and communities, particularly where data can be gathered and analyzed automatically. This chapter examines theoretical, methodological and research issues that can be addressed by applying social network perspectives and analytical techniques to the study of e-learning. The chapter begins with an overview of the social network analytic perspective and what it can tell us – or lead us to ask – about e-learning. The chapter continues with examples from research studies using SNA to examine learning processes and structures at the individual, group and network levels. The ...

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