31 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. If you are observing faculty members in a teachers’ lounge, are you interested in who speaks with whom, or are you also interested in who initiated the conversation? Who initiated the conversation and who responded might be more interesting than just recording the pairs of teachers who engaged in conversations.

      This is certainly applicable to my own study. My original thought was that my data could be undirected, but I'm now questioning that. For example, it would be interesting to see if an initial contact between two students was then reciprocated, or if there were other contacts that seemed to follow from the initial.

    2. Remler and Van Ryzin (2010) define theory as a logical explanation that proposes a causal process or mechanism that produces an outcome of interest

      I'm not looking for causality in my study; it's more exploratiional and inductive than that. I imagine this is driven in part by my personal usage of SNA as a tool within a study, as opposed to being the methodology of a study in and of itself.

  2. Mar 2017
    1. So, let's say you are interested in the number of collaborative exchanges that occur between teachers from two different grade levels in a complete network of teachers within one elementary school. First, you count the number of times these types of exchanges occur in the observed network and then permute these relational data lots and lots of times. With each permutation, you calculate the number of times this type of tie (collaborative exchanges between teachers from two different grade levels) occurs and compare this result to the original observed network. After this process of permuting and comparing, you can see how often the results of these permutations are the same as the original observed results: The more often the results of the permutations are the same as your observed data, the more likely that the pattern of exchanges in the observed data was due to chance. If, however, the results from the observed data are so unlikely when compared to the results of the permutations, then you are to conclude that your results are not the byproduct of chance. Therefore, this result would be considered statistically significant.

      In terms of my project (looking at racial and gender-based biases in communication between undergarduate students in an online class), then I could use this same rationale and process in order to make generalizations to a broader population?

    2. In many cases, network analysts are studying a particular network or set of networks and have no interest in generalizing to a larger population of such networks (either because there isn't any such population or because they simply do not care about generalizing to it in any probabilistic way)

      I'm in this category with my own research outside fo this class.

    3. equilibrium” status of the network

      But didn't this just get done talking about how networks in the real world tend to change and shift? What would the value of this approach be, then, especially in regards to education research where, by its very nature, networks change often?

    4. The distinction between the two, however, is not clear cut.


    1. Tie strength has been a core idea throughout the network field, with weak ties serving as important bridges between different groups and strong ties being influential in behavioral adoption. Generally, weak ties are important for the spread of instrumental resources (e.g., work-related advice), while strong ties are important for expressive resources (e.g., guidance on personal matters) (Lin, 2001a). Stated another way, weak ties are important for transmitting information but less so for transmitting behavioral influence (Valente, 2010). Granovetter's (1973) classic work has laid much of the foundation for much of the work that has focused on the tie strength.

      I can see some application of tie strength both in my project for this course (analyzing the effects of gender and race on interaction between actors) and beyond my dissertation research: how do technology integration processes disseminate through a network of teachers?

    2. Finally, while most analyses of ego networks use simple graphs—binary data that simply indicate whether an undirected tie is present between two actors—it is possible to incorporate directed relations into ego network analysis.

      Could one use bidrectionality of connections as a emasure of density?

    3. Egocentric network data generated in this manner, however, cannot be used to describe the overall embeddedness of the networks in some larger population.

      Seems similar to a caution when using Case Study qualitative research methods - it's best to use caution when generalizing from case study research.

    4. Egos and Alters

      At the risk of being off topic - why is it that academics insist on finding new terminology within their specific domain? Seems to me that, in general, this is a barrier to the disemination of knowledge and information across disciplines....

    1. A Visual Comparison of Structural, Automorphic, and Regular Equivalence. Consider this a graph of a hypothetical hierarchy of a school district's organizational chart, which consists of three levels linked by supervisory relation. Depending on your preferred definition of equivalence, different positions will be identified.

      Moving forward into post-dissertation work, I can see how the idea of equivalence might apply in looking at technology integration processes across schools. But, for my research questions posed in this class, this isn't very useful.

    2. ou can also increase the value of n, but this is not advisable, as it seems odd for actors to be in the same clique if they are three steps from one another.

      While I certainly understand this in a real-world sense, I do interact with friends-of-friends in social media, either directly or through group membership. As such, is it acceptable to increase n when doing research, if one's research questions/interest require?

    3. By charting this process, you are able to identify whether there is a “core” group of actors at the center of the network, while others are on the periphery.

      Does anyone know of a way to illustrate this in a GIF or similar? I guess maybe doing it manually could be workable, but it sure seems to me that automating the charting of this process would make for increased ease when discussing research online.

    4. There is, however, no current standard for an acceptable Q value.

      I imagine this is due to a focus on research question variability and the flexibility of the overall SNA processes?

  3. Feb 2017
    1. it is more sensible to report what is referred to as effective density, which is the number of lines (ties) multiplied by the number of possible alters:where L again is the number of lines (directed ties) in the network, N is network size, and λ is the maximum number of alters requested or permitted. Using this formula, the density of the Fraternity Data is 1.0: All possible relations are present, which is unsurprising given that the original ranked data were recoded (1–3 = 1, all others = 0) and each respondent had the maximum number of three friendship nominations.

      For examining either my original project idea or my new one, I think this will be a useful equation. For example, in my current project idea, it would be interesting to see the density of a given network where I have limited them to two responses total within a given assignment.

    1. network's boundaries

      If planning to use SNA within a case study, it's important to know if you're a Yin, Stake, or Merriam-oriented case study person.

    2. This approach is either based on your knowledge about relations among a set of actors or relies on the actors themselves to nominate additional actors for inclusion.

      This is interesting for my own likely research needs/goals in looking at how technology integration processes spread. That said, it might also be difficult to track in a truly large-scale project. For example, there isn't one "universal" place for teachers to go and find technology integration processes. Perhaps this will have to be bound by the PLC/PLN I have in place?

    1. He reaches a higher volume of information because he reaches more students indirectly.

      Could this be restated as "quantity over quality" of connections?

    2. For example, Coleman claims that social capital is any “social-structural resource” that generates returns for someone in a specific action. Accordingly, social capital can be captured only by its effect; whether it is an investment depends on the [Page 221]return to a specific individual in a specific action (Lin, 2001b). Obviously, it is impossible to theorize social capital when its causes and effects are folded into a single function.

      I have an issue with this as stated. Couldn't it be that the "return" of social capital, as it is considered here, is only looking for extrinsic motivation? What about intrinsic motivations, such as helping someone simply because it feels good or is seen as the "right" thing to do judged solely by one's moral compass?

    3. he concept of social capital is said to address all of these situations (Kadushin, 2004).

      I keep coming back to the "mind as rhizome" metaphor as we talk about social networks and the theories that surround it. It seems to me that we, as humans, often create things that are structurally or functionally similar to our own bodies (i.e., the ways that a computer works and it's internal hardware mimicking the structures of the brain). Perhaps the same is true with social capital and social media: are these actually extensions of our brain?

    4. You are at home doing your homework and have no idea how to solve a math problem. But you can call a classmate and ask that they help you work through the answer. It was worth being nice to that classmate even though you do not particularly like him. Do you have to return the favor? Maybe he can grab a ride with you the next time your sibling gives you a ride home from school. Maybe the value of his help was minor enough that you feel little need to reciprocate. Now, however, you need help preparing for a big math exam. Your classmate has made a digital copy of the notes that the teacher prepared for the whole class that you left in your locker. But there is really nothing to return except for the goodwill, because although he passes on this digital copy, your classmate still has it. Another classmate that you have never spoken with has heard from this first classmate that you are real good at writing computer code and asks you to help him. You are busy but feel obligated to at least try and help because you are all in the same math class. Someday you may even have to ask that classmate, maybe even a different one, for help in fixing that computer. What goes around comes around. In fact, you may be in a bad mood because you got that homework question wrong, failed the math exam, and your computer is busted. Someone with whom you have been friends for years and do not see often calls you and makes you feel much better.[Page 216]

      This really reinforces the concept of social capital from the neurology video in the course website, and provides a qualitative example of what diversity of information and connection might be experienced like.

  4. Jan 2017
    1. Two-Mode (Affiliation) Matrices

      While I certainly appreciate the highly quantitative nature of the matrices discussed here in chapter 3 (meaning, not just this particular heading), I hope we'll also talk a bit about tools that can be used to visualize the information, too.

    2. If schools are the actors, they too have multiple relations with other schools, including information exchange, alliances, partnerships, and other connections.

      It's important to remember that, if one considers schools as actors, that connections to student families are a huge factor in student behavior.

    3. As noted by Hanneman and Riddle (2011a), a well-constructed graph can be very useful, perhaps even more useful than words, for communicating a network's properties.

      Is there a tool to model SNA over time? In other words, while the graphic snapshot these graphs represent is useful, I think being able to see change over time would be a yet more powerful tool.

    1. A second area in which educational research has generated theoretical insights through social network analysis is the area of diffusion, particularly how innovations spread through and across organizations such as schools

      Once I get more resources together, I have a website, 26ers.com, that I would love to attach to an SNA like this. The site is aimed at helping emerging readers explore literacies (traditional text, video, and graphic) through a mobile device and connecting that practice to their lived experiences.

    2. Unfortunately, this divide still polarizes the field of educational research

      At the risk of being "that guy" - why can't we all just get along? Why is it that so many in this field find it necessary to try and squelch the work of others?

    3. dynamic process that is not adequately explained by conventional social theory, nor do the methods most often used by social scientists capture [Page 36]these dynamics

      do the tools exist to model the dynamics of these relations in real time? i think it would be very powerful to show how these relationships change over time, as well as linking what the real-world implications would be.

    4. CONCOR (for CONvergence of iterated CORrelations)

      I'm curious about this concept, as I suspect it's been the basis for other technologies we use today.

    5. therapeutic techniques

      I think the idea of research as therapy is really interesting. Beyond that, though, a major concept within LT is the idea of bringing theory into practice; this seems like a different application of that process.

    1. flow of social influence

      so, does SNA within an educational research context require one to have a social constructivist lens or framework in mind?

    2. whether through influence processes (e.g., individuals adopting their friends' occupational choices) or leveraging processes (e.g., an individual can get certain things done because of the connections she has to powerful others).

      I think, as information itself is generated more and more quickly through social pressures and technology, that the processes of knowledge creation and answer generation will become more and more important in everyday life.