Using a three-layered social-cognitive network analysis framework for understanding online collaborative discussions
Keywords:Online collaborative discussion, Social learning analytics, three-layered social-cognitive network analysis framework, multi-method approach, computer-supported collaborative learning
Understanding the relationship between social and cognitive engagement has critical implications for collaborative learning theory, pedagogy and analytics. This study proposed a three-layered social-cognitive network analysis framework for examining the relationship between students’ social and cognitive engagement from summative, epistemic and micro-level perspectives within online collaborative discussions. A multi-method approach was used, consisting of social network analysis, quantitative content analysis, statistical analysis, epistemic network analysis and social-cognitive network visualisation. The results showed that from a summative perspective, students’ social participatory roles were critical indicators of their level of cognitive engagement. From an epistemic perspective, socially active students tended to shift towards more group-level cognitive structure, while inactive students showed a decreasing individual-level cognitive structure throughout the discussion duration. From a micro-level perspective, a large proportion of individual students showed continually changing social participatory roles with fluctuating cognitive engagement levels. The findings have implications for collaborative learning theory, pedagogy support and learning analytics.
Implications for practice or policy:
- Researchers can use the three-layered social-cognitive network analysis framework to examine student engagement.
- Instructors should encourage student agency for facilitating high-quality online collaborative discussion.
- Instructors should consider students’ different engagement levels in online discussions.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Fan Ouyang, Xinyu Dai
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