Dawson, Shane, 2010, 'Seeing' the learning community: an exploration of the development of a resource for monitoring online student networking, British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 736-752.
The trend to adopt more online technologies continues unabated in the higher education sector. This paper elaborates the means by which such technologies can be employed for pedagogical purposes beyond simply providing virtual spaces for bringing learners together. It shows how data about student 'movement' within and across a learning community can be captured and analysed for the purposes of making strategic interventions in the learning of 'at risk' students in particular, through the application of social network analysis to the engagement data. The study that is set out in the paper indicates that online technologies bring with them an unprecedented opportunity for educators to visualise changes in student behaviour and their learning network composition, including the interventions teachers make in those networks over time. To date, these evaluative opportunities have been beyond the reach of the everyday practitioner - they can now be integrated into every teaching and learning plan. © 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Becta.