Publication Details

Li, X., Verspoor, K., Gray, K. & Barnett, S. (2016). Analysing health professionals' learning interactions in an Online Social Network: a longitudinal study. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 227 93-99.

Additional Publication Information

This article is published online with Open Access by IOS Press and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper summarises a longitudinal analysis of learning interactions occurring over three years among health professionals in an online social network. The study employs the techniques of Social Network Analysis (SNA) and statistical modeling to identify the changes in patterns of interaction over time and test associated structural network effects. SNA results indicate overall low participation in the network, although some participants became active over time and even led discussions. In particular, the analysis has shown that a change of lead contributor results in a change in learning interaction and network structure. The analysis of structural network effects demonstrates that the interaction dynamics slow down over time, indicating that interactions in the network are more stable. The health professionals may be reluctant to share knowledge and collaborate in groups but were interested in building personal learning networks or simply seeking information.



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