PhD student Renzhe Yu is presenting at the 9th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference, held in Tempe, Arizona, March 4-8. The title of his presentation is "Deconstructing the Evolution of Collaborative Learning Networks."
As social interaction becomes an integral component in online learning environments, analyzing the dynamic evolution of peer learning networks is necessary to better understand and support learners in these contexts. This study investigates a unique network of collaborative artifact composition within a college-level online course, focused on the co-evolution of this network and student engagement at the individual level. Using stochastic actor-oriented models (SAOM), I find that students tend to form cohesive subgroups but not to produce “super stars” in collaboration activities. Moreover, collaboration exerts peer influence on individual course engagement, but there is no evidence of engagement-based selection of collaborators. These identified trends can help the instructor(s) refine their course design and implement appropriate intervention to foster more effective learning communities.