Hello everyone,

Classroom 2.0 is a thriving online community of educators and we have embarked on a research project to understand why. Online social networks are growing in use and usefulness among educators and we hope to provide a formal analysis to help policymakers and future researchers support these communities in the best ways. We're calling this research project, "Understanding Classroom 2.0" (UC2) and we're looking for feedback.

Let us start by introducing ourselves. We're both PhD students in Carnegie Mellon University's Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research which is funded by the Institute for Education Sciences. April studies statistics. Before she came to CMU, she taught mathematics at the community college level. She's also mom to a little boy who just started kindergarten. Turadg studies human computer interaction, with a focus on educational tools and online communities. Before coming to CMU he worked for 8 years in UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education on WISE and SAIL, research technologies used in classrooms in the US and abroad. Now he works on supporting open development of educational resources and tries to blog about his research at OpenEducationResearch.org.

Next, let us be clear about our intentions. We want to understand the community without disturbing it or anyone. We want to be barely noticed, lest we bother people and/or corrupt the research. The methods we plan to use don't require interacting with anyone. Instead we run computations on the data that the Ning web site shares. This post is to begin a discussion so we can get a sense of what the community is comfortable with and the project can proceed with your consent. We want this research to benefit the community and its members.

We're sure there will be lots of questions, starting with some version of, "What are you trying to do here?" To get the discussion rolling, we tried to anticipate some of your questions about UC2 and will post a short Q&A as the first comment.

We've spoken with Steve Hargadon and he has set up a web meeting for any interested parties to join and have a real-time discussion. This is scheduled for Monday Oct 20 at 5pm PST / 8pm EST. We hope everyone interested in this research can join. We also hope that in this week preceding the meeting that the discussion can evolve on this thread, to serve as an open record of the issues and opportunities this research affords.

So please tell us your thoughts. We're eager to hear what other questions you have! We're also eager to hear any suggestions you have for the UC2 project and how it could help you and the community.

Turadg and April

Tags: discussion, research, uc2

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Hola mi nombre es Cristina soy estudiante de la Universidad San Francisco de Quito, (Quito-Ecuador). Estoy en mi último año de diseñadora gráfico y como proyecto final me gustaría presentar a los profesores de mi Universidad las herramientas que ellos pueden tener acceso por medio de Webs 2.0.
Tengo que decir que este tema es nuevo en la universidad, hay pocos profesores que usan blogs, wikis, etc. Especialmente en el colegio de arte y comunicación.
Otros profesores utilizan un sistema llamado Web City para dar clases a distancia.
Estoy en el proceso de investigación y creo que las ventajas que ofrece la Web2.0 son espectaculares.
En mi universidad la mayoría de alumnos y profesores sabe las bases de computación pero creen que es una misión imposible el usar el internet en clases.
Nose cómo hacer mi proyecto hasta aquí esta hecha la investigación pero como diseñadora debo hacer algo diseñado para que el proyecto sea eficiente. Un ejemplo hacer un blog muestra, hacer un libro interactivo.
Yo quiero que los profesores se comprometan con los alumnos primeramente a ofrecerles otros medios en los cuales desarrollen y preparen para el futuro.
Espero que me den ciertas ideas o la dirección de un blog educativo que sea completo para mostrar en clases como muestra.
Gracias y por favor denme ideas
Hello Turadg and April! Your reseach interests sounds like a winner! I highly support and encourage the use of 2.0 in the learning process. My research interests are similar as they involve how 2.0 impacts ethnocentrism in the classroom. Are you sure you don't want to interact with anyone during your research? I think getting that human perspective will only strengthen your argument. Just a thought. I'm looking forward to attending elluminate session tonight. Thanks!


Tonight at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern is the open meeting for members of Classroom 2.0 to talk to Turadg Aleahmad and April Galyardt, who are studying online teacher communities and want to use Classroom 2.0 for some of their research.

We'll meet in our CR 2.0 Elluminate room, which is at:

https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008350&password=M.789EF5... (this is the correct address--previously given address was wrong).

If you want to test your computer to be set up to participate before we start, go to:

I wasn't able to get into the elluminate sesson.

is there a way to do so?

Mirelle, I'm trying to get in now. You need java; what happened when you tried to log in?

Thanks to the 40 or so people who participated in the live session tonight. Lots of good information from Turadg and April, and good feedback and questions from the audience.

One of the big topics during the online discussion was, what exactly are the research questions? This is the working version of our questions and our plan for attacking them. It's not terribly well edited and there's a fair bit of jargon, but it's what you asked for. ;)

Research questions

What are teachers/educators getting out of these networks?

* What content is flowing on the network?
  o Analysis technique: LDA can tag the content
    + Tools: Mallet?
    + Report:
      # content clusters
      # proportion of posts in each cluster
      # proportion of *people* posting in each cluster
      # are people posting in multiple clusters?
    + Use later:
      # Do the large connected pieces of the network correspond with topic clusters? (or with geography?)

* What questions are participants asking? Are the questions being answered?
  o Analysis technique: tag conversational function - some machine learning algorithm
    + Tools: (Minorthird?) (DocuScope?)
    + Report:
      # proportion of initial posts that are questions
      # proportion of questions that receive replies
    + Use later:
      # Do the askers also answer questions, or are the askers & answerers fairly distinct groups?

* Do they come back?
  o What proportion of nodes are disconnected?
    + looks to be around 2000 members that have generated no content.
    + need to look at time-stamp for last login to figure out who's left & who's a lurker
  o How many posts made? (blogs vs. forums)
  o How many posts received?
  o How many different people have responded to their posts?
  o indegree/outdegree distribution

* Where do the educators come from?
  o Report: Geographical map
  o Use later:
    + Do the large connected pieces of the network correspond with topic clusters? (or with geography?)

* What proportion of the forum participants are teachers?
  o Analysis technique: Requires some sort of clustering/tagging of "school/work affiliation"
    + A jaunt through the site indicates a surprising number of members may be in university communities
  o Use later:
    + How does teacher use of site differ from other groups?
    + Are teachers answering each others questions; or are teachers asking, and receiving replies from university people?

How does that work? How do the network structure, network dynamics, and discussion content factor in?

* What do the interactions look like?
  o Motif typing?
  o Correlation between indegree & outdegree.

* Do the large connected pieces of the network correspond with topic clusters? (or with geography?)
  o Graphs:
    + network graphic with nodes color coded by topic
    + network graphic with nodes color coded by continent and/or region of the US (e.g., Midwest)
    + geographic placement with edges for co-discussion (edited for privacy issues)

* How does the implicit network of replies compare to the explicit "friends" network?
  o The explicit "friends" network might be the easiest piece of data to get quickly.
    + more or fewer disconnected nodes in the explicit network?

Can we identify a point at which the network became mature/self-sustaining?
* Model the growth of the network
  o Steve Fienberg's longitudinal model
hello I am a professor from costa Rica and I would like to tell you that in any way that I may help you ,.. more than welcome. I would like to know more about your research methods.
Turadg and April are going to be giving an updated report this Thursday, April 16th, at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT. Please join us in Elluminate for this session: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.9F5B4FE69582E66BF65D13...

If you haven't been in Elluminate before, you can make sure your machine is configured correctly in order to connect at http://www.elluminate.com/support
Great stuff! I would love to help in any way possible! All the best with your research!

Very interesting stuff! I am currently researching the relationship between participation in online communities of practice and innovative teaching practices so I am very curious to know what you guys come up with.

Hope to be able to attend on Thursday.

With aloha,


I am also a doctoral student working on the potential of social networking sites for learning, particularly in higher education environment. I am excited to see that there are other doc students like me who are giving full dedication to find out the promises of the networking sites for teaching and learning. I am very interested on hearing particularly about your research questions...

Hope to connect to you on Thursday.




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