Networked Learning Conference 2010 
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Social Networks and Learning Networks: Using social network perspectives to understand social learning

Caroline Haythornthwaite, University of Illinois

Maarten de Laat, Open University of the Netherlands


The empirical studies, theoretical perspectives and analytical tools associated with social network analysis (SNA) comprise a wealth of knowledge that can be drawn on for interpreting, analyzing and designing networked learning. In its essentials of understanding the network connections between people, or other network nodes, SNA seems a natural addition to the networked learning researcher’s toolkit. This paper builds on the networked learning ‘hotseat’ discussion held online in October 2009 as one of the preliminaries to the 2010 Networked Learning Conference. The discussion aimed to explore social network principles as a way to address questions about networked learning. This paper follows up that discussion, bringing together and expanding on topics discussed during the hotseat. Our thanks go to the participants in that session for raising important and challenging questions about networks, and networked learning.


Full Paper - .pdf




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