I am happy to announce that my new paper “Are Forum Networks Social Networks? A Methodological Perspective” with Oleksandra Poquet and Liubov Tupikina, has been accepted in the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK ’20), March 23–27, 2020, Frankfurt, Germany. You can find the full paper here. This very selective conference is at the core of the learning analytics community, aimed at deriving behavioral and performance metrics of individual learners from digital data.
In this paper, we explore how online forum networks used by students during classes can be used as tools to construct social networks from which to derive insights about collaborative learning. In this construction, the inferred social networks carries properties from the forum network, so that a high degree can merely be reflecting a high posting activity. In this paper, we present a methodology to disentangle forum activity from social connectivity through several generative models. This methodology has implications for the field of learning analytics and especially for learning networks.