CIC Networked Learning Practices Workshop - Caroline Haythornthwaite

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Caroline Haythornthwaite


UTS Sydney

Aug 20, 2014Networked Learning Practices


Introduction to Workshop2Part 1 (90 minutes)

Presentation (45 minutes)Social Network PerspectiveSome contemporary trends in connectivityA social network perspective on connectivityPrinciplesComplexitySN & information exchange, knowledge co-construction, learning

Exercise (30 minutes)Exploration of SN focus on learning: What constitutes a learning tie?


Part 2 (60 minutes)

Presentation (30 minutes)New Media and LearningNetwork building role of MediaExploring the attributes of communication channelsExploring the place of different modes ina a multiplex interaction framework

Exercise (30 minutes)Discussion/brainstorming on effects of new media on learningAnd/orDesign exercise re socio-technical balance of pedagogical intent and media use



Goals of the Workshop3Part 1To familiarize you with Social Network concepts and gain an understanding of a Relational Perspective for researchWarning networks are addictive!To show how network perspective can be applied to questions about learning and knowledge building online, offline & blended, formal, informal & non-formalPart 2To introduce how new media disrupt traditional network connectivity, open up new opportunities, and forge new connectionsConsider how new media change learning practices


A bit about meMy Background and Interests

How do people work, learn and socialize together at a distance and through computer media?Communication, Collaboration, Community

Studies : Online Learning NetworksSocial networks / virtual communitiesDistributed learners / e-learningCollaborative research teams / distributed knowledgeInformation sharing and learning / ubiquitous learning

New directionsCrowds and communitiesSocial media and learningLearning analyticsA few theoretical orientations

Relational perspective who does what with whom as the unit of analysis

Sociotechnical perspective practice, observed behaviour, technology use, etc. arises from the interplay of people and technology

social informatics, organizational informatics, community informatics

Social and Technological Network Effects on Individuals and SocietyPart I: Trends


A Mosaic of Trends


Transformative Trends

(1) Social NetworksMore than just mediaA transformation in work and social organizationNetworks, communities, crowds===============Social Network Analysis - an approach, method and vocabulary for addressing societal structuresActors such as people, groups or organizations, tied by relations that form networks, analyzed and displayed as graphs

Rainie & Wellman, 2012, Networked: The new social operating system.

(2) E-LearningMore than a transfer of learning to an online stageLearning unbound from institutional structures, embracing flow across physical, geographical, disciplinary boundariesSustained over a lifetime, enacted in multiple, daily instancesMobile, learning from and in new and different locations as needed and on the devices at hand. Engaged act created through both technical and social decisions

A transformative movement for learning in a networked worldHaythornthwaite & Andrews, 2011, E-learning Theory and Practice


Use of Social Networking Sites:Adults: 60%Non-students 18-24: 88%Undergrads: 86%Graduate Students: 82%Community College: 72%

College Students and Technology (data US 2010) Generation


Learning in a Networked WorldEducational Institutions: FormalDegree based, online learning environmentsStructured curriculum, resources, rolesTextbooks, instructors, tutorsInformal and non-formalPersonal, interest based, community of interest from casual to serious leisure to non-degree based learningEmergent configurations and rolesE-Learning, Networked learning, Ubiquitous learningLearning on and through the webEmbedded in home, work, travel contextsContributing as well as retrievingCollaboratively determining learning trajectoriesWorking like experts rather than novices, entrepreneurial

(3) Participatory CulturePersonal but shared needCreative CommonsChanges in authority structuresPeer production, Peer evaluationDiffering by enterpriseCrowds, CommunitiesMotivationsPublic Good, CareerOutcomesSocial Capital, Community Resilience, Knowledge distribution

Jenkins et al, (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. An opportunity to draw on the power of crowds and the support of communities


(4) Big DataProliferation of data and information streamsDynamic, Small to HugeGeo-locatedNeeding collection, management, analysis, presentation, validation Ethical, intelligent useData, information, analytics and visualization literacy

When you automate, you informate (Zuboff)


Learning Analytics14Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs.

Journal of Learning Analytics (@UTS)

Special issues:Journal of Educational Technology & Society (2012)American Behavioral Scientist (2013)Australian representatives for SoLAR: Simon Buckingham Shum, University of Technology, SydneyShane Dawson, University of Southern AustraliaGrace Lynch, University of New England, AustraliaPhillip Long (University of Queensland, Australia)


II. Social Networks, Learning Networks


QuestionsToday How can network perspectives be used to examine learning and education processes?What needs to be done to build a network analytic base for learning?How can what is known in social network research be used to jumpstart learning networks research?

Social network analytic views of learningConnecting this to aspects of learning and networks that lend themselves to a research agenda for learningInterwoven with examples related to learning and examples from studies of learning networksNetworks and Learning

Social Network Building BlocksActors tied by relations that form networks, analyzed and displayed as graphs

Networks are revealed in our interactionsPersonal or Egocentric viewBirds eye, helicopter or Whole Network view

Science research teamOnline learners


Network PerspectivePersonalDoes the individual have in their network access to sufficient resources?How is the individual engaging with their network?CommunalAre there sufficient ties and resources within the network to support communal awareness, action, solidarity?Are there sufficient external connections to support access to newinfo. ?

Answer person, and Discussion Person(Fig 3a&3b from Welser et al, 2007)


Map of science derived from clickstream dataBollen J, Van de Sompel H, Hagberg A, Bettencourt L, et al. (2009) Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4803. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004803

Knowledge Map based on probability of clicking between journals.

(Figure 5 in Bollen et al, 2009)Networks formed by our use of systems


Networks observable from our data traces

Social media, point of sale, GPS

**Activist discussion: Canadian Tar Sands (Brittany White)**London Olympics, 2012 (Anatoliy Gruzd)

**Networks courtesy of the Social Media Lab, Dalhousie University

#hcsmca Health Care Social Media CanadaGruzd & Haythornthwaite, 2013


Social Network PerspectiveNot just pretty picturesA method for social analysis: social network analysisA relational approachEmphasis on what people do togetherWho talks to whom about what? Who gives, receives, shares what kinds of resources? Who learns from whom?A network approachAttention to network structures and their outcomesHow does the structure of a network affect resource flow among group members? When do resources reach others? What resources can network members access?


A moment to look at network featuresNetworks showCohesionDensity, Centralization, Cliques, Structural HolesActor ProminencePrestige, InfluenceRoles and positionsStars, Brokers, Gatekeepers, Isolates

Network outcomesResource Flowcontrolinclusion and exclusionearly and late access to informationRolesinformation suppliers, help givers, social support giversSocial structuresSocial capital, network resilience

In-class collaboration network who works with whomPAUSE here for some discussion


InteractionsRather than aggregates of behaviorsOn average, 6000 tweets are sent per second, of these types: Pointless babble 40%; Conversational 38%; Pass-along value 9%; Self-promotion 6%; Spam 4%; News 4% (Pear Analytics. 2,000 tweets 2009 US in English)Examine behaviours in terms of social interactionPointless babble is social grooming (boyd, 2009)Information posting via Twitter comes with expectation of reciprocity (Holton et al, 2014)Actors in closer relationships (work, friendship) communicate more often, about more things (Granovetter and others), and via more media (Haythornthwaite & Wellman, 1996)


Under the hood: Network DataWho to/from whom Actor x Actor,1-mode networks

Affiliation Networks Actor x Events,2-mode networksCan derive actor x actor,and event x event networksReveals hidden common experience, knowledge


Lets do a quick affiliation network26Who has read these books:Any of Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Peter PanWatership DownHarry Potter (any of them)Goodnight MoonA contemporary Childrens Australian A classic Australian novel

Who has attended these conferences:Ascalite, Internet Researchers, CSCW, LAK others?

Who knows at least one person in this room?Who knows everyone in this room? latent tie structurePAUSE for an activity


What do we know so far about social networks?27Social Networks Research


Some Key SNA Findings28Individual/Dyadic/TriadicRelational multiplexityStrength of weak ties (Granovetter)Strength of strong ties (Krackhardt, Granovetter)Forbidden triangleOrganizationalStructural holes (Burt)Diffusion of innovations (Rogers)Gatekeepers, Technological Gurus (Allen); Absorptive Capacity (Cohen & Levinthal)Internet/Media effectsMedia Multiplexity (Haythornthwaite & Wellman)Latent Ties (Haythornthwaite)Crowds and Communities (Haythornthwaite )

SocietyCommunity lost, saved, liberated (Wellman)Core discussion networks (McPherson & Smith-Loven)HomophilyBirds of a feather flock togetherTransitivityTendency for our friends friends to be our friends Inclusion/ExclusionOrganizational work hours and places support homophily (Smith-Loven)Social mobility (Lin)Social capital (accessed and mobile) (Lin)


Weak and Strong TiesWeak Ties . . . Acquaintances, casual contactsTend to be unlike each otherTravel in different social circlesResource exchangesInfrequent, instrumentalFew types of resources, exchanges, relationsLow motivation to shareStrength of weak tiesExperience / Information /Attitudes comes from a different social sphereBut, no obligation to share . . . Strong TiesFriends, close friends, team-matesTend to be like each otherTravel in the same social circlesResource exchangesFrequent, multiple types: emotional and instrumental High level of intimacy, self-disclosureReciprocity in exchangesStrength of strong tiesMotivated -- obliged -- to share what resources they haveBut, access to same resources


Societal ConnectionsCommunity Lost, Saved & Liberated, and now Networked (Wellman)Lost. Lament for the passing of the pastoral ideal of community, lost in urbanizationSaved. Rediscovered local community amid the towers of urban livingLiberated. Social network based (Wellman, 1979) place independent, liberated from geography, sustained through phone and travelNetworked the New Operating Systems (Rainie & Wellman, 2012)Personal communities networked individualism sustained through ICT, networked living, wireless connectivity

Neo-liberated. Finding career, work, friends, homophilous others through computer networksHyper-liberated. Unbound by boundaries of organizations and traditional workplacesFree of constraints of single career, employer, institutionlearning within institutional boundaries (e.g., MOOCs)human capital resource locationsingle author/ publisher/curator Community now found in myriad multi-threaded instances

Actors / Nodes

Relations / Edges


Networks31Networks Structures


ActorsIndividualsAdults, teens, childrenEmployers, employees, co-workersCollectivesGroups* or TeamsOrganizationsCommunities*OtherCountries, Governments, Schools, Websites, DocumentsIndividualsTeachers, studentsSchools, universitiesCo-workers, collaborators, team matesCollectivesResearch teamsProfessional organizations, clubsCommunities, neighborhoods, societiesOnline groups

More?NOTE: A group in SNA is defined as a highly interconnected clique. Thus Groups and I also maintain Communities are a hypothesis to be tested.


Actor Roles and PositionsCentrality. Network StarBetweenness. Bridge, BrokerProminence Influence, PrestigeEquivalenceIdentical ties to and from others or to and from equivalent othersE.g., teachers of same class, or teachers of equivalent classes in different schoolsRolesTechnological guruTrollInformation providerLearner-leader, facilitatorAnswer or discussion personWho dominates conversation? Who seeds it? Who suggests new resources? Who controls the flow of information?Who does everyone ask? And about what?Who does everyone listen to? And about what?Who gives emotional support? Who disrupts, diverts, obstructs discussion?

What matters for teaching and learning, or in learning communities?


Relations: Content, Direction & StrengthContent. Physical, emotional, or informationalChat - gossip, social groomingAdvice InstructionCollaboration - work, learning, playSocial support major or minor emotional supportTrustServices Small to large: babysitting, lending money, cleaning up after disasters, helping neighborsDirection of resource flow between actorsGiving or Receiving

Strength of the relationHow much, how often, and how important Intimacy, Frequency, Intensity, Quantity, Regularity, Longevity, Value Defined both objectively and subjectivelyMinor versus major social supportDaily, weekly, monthly communication


Learning RelationsLearningKnow-what: facts from teachers, books, etc.Know-how: apprenticeships, informal learningFiction: contagious diffusion of gossip and rumourGroup: practices, who knows what (transactive memory), who knows who knows whatEducationTeaching, learningEvaluation: giving/handing in assignments, giving/ receiving gradesDelivery of information: giving/attending lect...


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