A Social Network Analysis of an Introductory Calculus-BasedPhysics Class with Comparisons of Traditional and Non-TraditionalStudents, FCI Scores, and Network Centralities

by Emily Sandt

Institution: Wright State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Physics; Network analysis; centrality, non-traditional; FCI; physics education research; degree; betweenness; closeness; PageRank
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2089903
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=wright1469627559


The use of social network analysis in physics education research seeks to advanceunderstanding of how students’ collaborative tendencies influence trends of learning.Common useful measurements are network size, density of connections, and centralitymeasures that describe the importance of nodes’ positions. This study compared fourdifferent centrality measures at the beginning and end of seven sections of an introductorycalculus-based physics course. The Force Concept Inventory was used as a measure ofconceptual learning at pre- and post-course administrations. The main focus of this studywas to identify if differences in network centralities and conceptual learning/knowledgeexist with respect to students’ designations as non-traditional or traditional (age 22+).Various class sizes, styles, and instructors were included in the data. Results showedsome common and conflicting trends for the different class types, with non-traditionalstudents generally at a disadvantage in network position but comparable in conceptualscores. Advisors/Committee Members: Traxler, Adrienne (Committee Chair).