Measuring creative potential: Using social network analysis to monitor a learners' creative capacity


  • Shane Dawson University of Wollongong
  • Jennifer Pei Ling Tan International Baccalaureate
  • Erica McWilliam Queensland University of Technology



Despite the burgeoning rhetoric from political, social and educational commentators regarding creativity and learning and teaching, there is a paucity of scalable and measurable examples of creativity-centric pedagogical practice. This paper makes an argument for the application of social network visualisations to inform and support creativity-enabling pedagogical practice. This paper first describes social networks and how they relate to creative capacities and learning as a social process. It then provides an initial case study of how social network analysis may be meaningfully applied to evaluate students' learning networks and creative capacities, and elaborates on how such an evaluative resource can allow educators to design and implement creativity-enabling pedagogical practice. In so doing, this paper contributes conceptual, methodological and empirical advances that can take learning and teaching for creativity, particularly in higher education, beyond rhetoric towards more observable and measurable mainstream pedagogical practice.


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Author Biographies

Shane Dawson, University of Wollongong

Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia, Canada
Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Australia

Erica McWilliam, Queensland University of Technology

Adjunct Professor
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Queensland University of Technology




How to Cite

Dawson, S., Tan, J. P. L., & McWilliam, E. (2011). Measuring creative potential: Using social network analysis to monitor a learners’ creative capacity. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(6).