F2-AL3-3 - Exploring the Relationship between SPOC Forum Behaviors and Learning Outcomes Based on Social Networks Analysis

3. Research Work In Progress
Han Wan1 , Lina Tang1, Kangxu Liu1, Xiaopeng Gao1
1 School of Computer Science and Engineering@Beihang University

Small private online courses (SPOCs) have received widespread attention for their adaptability to blended teaching in higher education. As an interactive tool, the discussion forum of SPOC generates a large amount of interactive data every day for the presence of multiple roles (such as students, teachers, assistants, etc.), including learning content, questions, and feedback. Therefore the analysis of the discussion forum is very valuable. In this paper, the computer structure course served as the research object, which is a SPOC for sophomores. Based on the interactive data, we analyzed the characteristics of the interactive network utilizing the social network analysis method and studied how the activities in the discussion forum influence the final achievement of students. The results show that the interactive network presents a polycentric feature, and there are several core actors in the network. The centralization of out-degree and in-degree of the whole network is 28.85% and 15.07%, indicating that the network has a centralized trend, and most interactions depend on core actors. Some faculty members occupied the important positions of the social network, which shows that the participation of faculty members in discussions can attract the attention of students and improve the activity of the forum. The betweenness centralization was observed as 18.13%, showing less intermediation of the network and students can interact with others freely. We also concluded that the activities in the forum were related to students’ learning outcomes, and we found that those who responded to the problems emerging in the discussion forum have better outcomes compared to those who just post problems, which means that helping others to solve the problems can promote the students’ learning performance. Our results can enable faculty to enhance the curriculum and use discussion forums more effectively, such as increasing faculty participation in the forums or encouraging students to regularly check the contents of forums to exchange learning methods and experiences or post problems and questions.