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Title: Social networks, communication styles, and learning performance in a CSCL community
Authors: Cho, H. 
Gay, G.
Davidson, B.
Ingraffea, A.
Keywords: Computer-mediated communication
Cooperative/collaborative learning
Distance education and telelearning
Distributed learning environment
Social network analysis
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Cho, H., Gay, G., Davidson, B., Ingraffea, A. (2007). Social networks, communication styles, and learning performance in a CSCL community. Computers and Education 49 (2) : 309-329. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The aim of this study is to empirically investigate the relationships between communication styles, social networks, and learning performance in a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) community. Using social network analysis (SNA) and longitudinal survey data, we analyzed how 31 distributed learners developed collaborative learning social networks, when they had work together on the design of aerospace systems using online collaboration tools. The results showed that both individual and structural factors (i.e., communication styles and a pre-existing friendship network) significantly affected the way the learners developed collaborative learning social networks. More specifically, learners who possessed high willingness to communicate (WTC) or occupied initially peripheral network positions were more likely to explore new network linkages. We also found that the resultant social network properties significantly influenced learners' performance to the extent that central actors in the emergent collaborative social network tended to get higher final grades. The study suggests that communication and social networks should be central elements in a distributed learning environment. We also propose that the addition of personality theory (operationalized here as communication styles) to structural analysis (SNA) contributes to an enhanced picture of how distributed learners build their social and intellectual capital in the context of CSCL. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Computers and Education
ISSN: 03601315
DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2005.07.003
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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