Social Network Analysis Toolkit

Dr. Christoforos Mamas, Education Studies





Can you briefly describe how you came up with this idea and the process?

Developing the toolkit is part of my research agenda. I came up with the idea when I was a school teacher and wanted to find a way to capture the social dynamics in my classroom. I always felt that social and emotional aspects of learning are vital towards improving and transforming education and learning for all students. Working as an instructor in higher education (HE) felt that this work is relevant to HE students who may struggle with forming meaningful social relationships and be embedded in social support networks.

Why do you think your idea will/has work/ed with your students?

I think the SNA toolkit can provide a simple-to-use platform to capture the social connections of students with each other. Relationships and connections matter, especially in such an interconnected world. Nurturing the ability of students to connect and network with each other may enhance their academic and professional skills as well as promote their social and emotional well-being. Students who feel included in their peer group may be more likely to actively participate in learning and instructional activities and much less likely to drop out of college or feel lonely and unsupported. Identifying those students who are at risk of social isolation and exclusion early may be key in maintaining a high retention rate within our campus. Also, liaising with other services within the campus may be key in addressing the needs of the students, especially those who may be on the periphery of their social networks.

If applicable, what might you change about your artifact for future classes/courses?

 The SNA toolkit is currently under development and many things may change based on feedback from colleagues as well as students.