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Using Gephi to visualize online course participation: a Social Learning Analytics approach


Online education poses big challenges, especially in distance education, where students must adapt to self-directed learning, teachers need to adopt a different way of delivering educational contents and developing knowledge, and course coordinators have to cope with high student numbers and strict time limits for processing all the information originated in the learning space.
Social learning analytics provides tools and methods for extracting information that is useful for improving the learning process. This case study shows how instructors and course coordinators can use the tool Gephi to generate relevant information that would otherwise be difficult to gain. Analysis of empirical data from a cross-curricular course with 656 students proves the usefulness of Gephi for social learning analytics studies and demonstrates how the tool can provide relevant indicators of student activity and engagement. The study also discusses the potential of social learning analytics for improving online instruction via learning data visualization.


Educational Technology; Learning analytics; Social network analysis; Social learning analytics; Learning Data Visualization; Distance learning; Online learning; Gephi; Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

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Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) | ISSN (print) 2532-4632 | ISSN (online) 2532-7720