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Comunicar Journal 42: Revolution in Education? (Vol. 21 - 2014)

Collaboration and social networking in Higher education


Adriana Gewerc-Barujel

Lourdes Montero-Mesa

Manuel Lama-Penín


This paper presents an exploratory analysis of the experience of educational innovation in the configuration of a social learning network in a subject for the Education degree course at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). This innovation is based on the premise of student-centered teaching (independent learning, self-regulated, authentic and breaking boundaries between formal and informal areas) enriched with collaborative activities. The study aims to analyze the intensity and relevance of the student´s contributions in this collaborative framework. We used learning analytics tools with two types of techniques: social network analysis (SNA) and information extraction, to measure the intensity, centrality and relevance of collaboration among students. The results obtained allow us to confirm: 1) The consistency and coherence between the pedagogical approach and the option of using a social network in university education; 2) A dense network with a high level of interaction, a moderate degree of centrality and a low centralization index (structure moves away from star), with a group with the capacity to influence the rest (degree of betweenness); 3) High level of relevance to the content analyzed; 4) The usefulness of learning analytics techniques to guide teacher decision-making.


University teaching, learning, innovation, collaboration, social networking, e-portfolio, personal learning environments, learning analytics