About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5832-5838
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS (SNA): A STUDY OF A SOCIAL NETWORK IN THE FORUM PROEDI

E. Lisbôa, C. Coutinho

University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
This paper aims at presenting ways of analysing interactions in social networks within asynchronous contexts- discussion forums. The study is based on the forum entitled “Pod cast in Education” developed in PROEDI (Teachers in the Digital Age). PROEDI is a teacher network created with Ning tool in January 2011 in order to explore new training and professional development approaches within the paradigm Web 2.0. There are various analytic tools of social networks in the literature (ASN- graphs) but our analysis is based on a sociometric analysis (Newman, 2000), which is considered the new social paradigm (Varanda, 2000) due to the indicators: i) Density; ii) Degree Centrality iii) centralization index, iv) closeness and v) betweenness. These indicators clarify the structural properties of the social organization and represent the individual connections, enabling a global vision of the network. They also describe it in a rigorous way, characterizing it according to matrix data which can be translated into concepts and stored in specific programs enabling an easier and more objective data approach.
The study presented here follows a mainly qualitative line, since its main objective is to examine the interactions between the actors of the networks, as well as the behavior and position each member holds. For this we use a series of techniques related to Social Network Analysis (SNA) that will allow us to represent the interactions and relationships between the actors not only by means of graphical representation, but also through some indicators that will help us to explain the network's functioning (Hirschi, 2010).
Overall, the study based on this methodology aims to describe and represent the interaction of network elements, allowing the researcher to understand the behavior and attitudes of the actors when participating in the discussion forum examined because, according to Wellman (2001) , the SNA is a very effective method for understanding the organization and arrangement of members in a social network. For the analysis of indicators (density, degree centrality, centralization index, closeness and betweenness), we will use the software for the graphical representation of the interactions called Netdraw (Borgatti, 2002).
The study came to prove that in fact the SNA is an effective methodology to analyze the interactions between people within a particular group, namely networks and virtual communities. The data presented allow us to deduce that in fact the indicators used in our analysis are of great value so we can understand and also intervene in the dynamics of network operations, proposing improvements in its structure. However, it is clear that the authors who present a higher degree of centralization as well as hold a greater number of information also have the opportunity to receive more information and therefore are the most popular and influential elements in the network. As we advanced in the analysis of interactions, we realized that one of these authors was the e-moderator, who developed a great importance in the dynamic organization of the network and are therefore considered as an element responsible for the establishment of links and information flows.
@InProceedings{LISBOA2012SOC,
author = {Lisb{\^{o}}a, E. and Coutinho, C.},
title = {SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS (SNA): A STUDY OF A SOCIAL NETWORK IN THE FORUM PROEDI},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {5832-5838}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Lisbôa AU - C. Coutinho
TI - SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS (SNA): A STUDY OF A SOCIAL NETWORK IN THE FORUM PROEDI
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 5832
EP - 5838
ER -
E. Lisbôa, C. Coutinho (2012) SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS (SNA): A STUDY OF A SOCIAL NETWORK IN THE FORUM PROEDI, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 5832-5838.
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