My colleagues and I, Hui Soo Chae and Gary Natriello, have submitted a short paper to the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 2007 Conference. We hope to be accepted! I’ve posted our paper here for anyone who is interested in what we’re up to:
Using Social Network Analysis to Highlight an Emerging Online Community of Practice
Abstract: In this exploratory study, Cocciolo, Chae and Natriello investigate the extent to which the communicative processes exhibited within a large digital repository illustrate the emergence of an online community of practice (CoP). In order to make this claim, we present a method for identifying the emergence of an online CoP using Social Network Analysis (SNA) on communication data (i.e., uploads and downloads) and institutional role (i.e., expert/faculty vs. novice/student). The analysis reveals that the online repository provides opportunities for novices to perform the role of the expert knowledge facilitator. We posit that these conditions constitute a necessary element for the emergence of an online CoP.