The impact of cognitive style on social networks in on-line discussions

Kathryn Weed Jablokow, Pamela Vercellone-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the rise of e-Learning in engineering education, understanding the impact of individual differences on the ways students communicate and collaborate on-line has become increasingly important. The research described here investigates the influence of cognitive style on the interactions within student social networks in an on-line learning environment, with a particular focus on student engagement, patterns of communication, and the self-directed creation of sub-groups (i.e., cliques). The Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI) was used to assess cognitive style, and UCINET software was used to analyze the interactions of two cohorts of Systems Engineering students throughout a series of asynchronous on-line discussion forums across two graduate-level courses. Among the findings, the highly heterogeneous style composition of the cliques formed by the students suggests that e-Learning environments may mask cognitive differences that have been shown to create conflict in face-to-face student interactions. Links between cognitive style, expansiveness, influence, leadership, and students' choices between resident and on-line programs are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Engineering Education
Volume2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011

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social network
Students
student
electronic learning
learning environment
interaction
systems engineering
Engineering education
Systems engineering
Masks
Innovation
graduate
leadership
resident
engineering
innovation
communication
Communication
Chemical analysis
education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Education

Cite this

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The impact of cognitive style on social networks in on-line discussions. / Jablokow, Kathryn Weed; Vercellone-Smith, Pamela.

In: Advances in Engineering Education, Vol. 2, No. 3, 12.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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