This study analyzed students’ interaction patterns in asynchronous online discussion forums by using log files left in the LMS. By taking Social Network Analysis (SNA) and Learning Analytics (LA) approaches, the centrality of participants, their networking patterns, characteristics of networks including multiple topics, and pattern changes over time were reviewed within a case study. Additionally, this study found that instructor initiation and student autonomy to select topics, together with the use of sample essays influenced online discussion patterns, which was effectively illustrated by the SNA results. Finally, this study discussed that the use of SNA not only as an analytics tool but also as a presentation tool to display the outputs can facilitate smart and effective discussion activity.
- Asynchronous online discussion
- Learning analytics
- Management system
- Social network analysis