Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 52

18 continuEd rEs lifE The Six Degrees of Separation members of the community and asked questions about each student’s interactions with the others. Participant observation and individual interviewing were also used to get a broader and deeper understanding of the communities. Network data can also be collected from online surveys, e-mail, and records of group memberships. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge have even been collecting data from students who agree to use smartphones or to wear badge-size sensors that record their interactions with other students. Although network data collection may require a high response rate for analysis, the data can easily be combined with existing quantitative and qualitative institutional assessment data, and residence life and learning community professionals are considering ways to use social network analysis to complement their existing assessment plans. Woltenberg is making plans to start using this kind of analysis to examine learning communities at the University of Kentucky. “Our interest in utilizing social network analysis is to explore more of the intricacies of the livinglearning communities on our campus. Which students study together? Smaller clusters inevitably form within these communities – what is the common link? Information about how these students relate to one another helps us get a better picture of how we can serve the livinglearning community [in terms of ] resources, programs, and academic enhancement.” ConneCting tHe Dots Residence life staff at Alfred State College in New York are considering ways to integrate social network analysis into their current assessment program. Matthew Ryan, assistant director of residence life, intends to use the data about social networks to illuminate the data they already have: “We do an RA survey every year, and we do a student satisfaction survey, and we see a difference between some of the residents’ responses versus the RAs’ [responses].” Ryan sees network analysis as a way to try to make sense of those gaps, a part of what he calls “a holistic approach to see where there are points of agreement and points of contrast.” Residence life staff at Alfred State plan to combine the network data with their standard assessment data in order to inform programmatic decisions about such things as duty hours, RA training, and staff development. Social network analysis can be very useful for examining communities as a whole. In addition to analyzing student networks formed in different types of living-learning communities, researchers can gather information about how the networks in theme houses compare to those in coordinated studies programs or residential colleges or how much influence the level of faculty involvement may have on the community. Students’ individual characteristics can also be inserted into the visual displays so that administrators can see connections across many categories: gender, race and ethnicity, social class, or major. The use of network data makes sense for higher education, since students tend to learn as members of various communities. If, as research suggests, we learn better together, network analysis becomes a way to measure this. “We’re just connecting a lot of points,” Ryan explains, “pun intended.” ts Rachel A. Smith is a graduate assistant and a Ph.D. candidate in higher education at Syracuse University in New York. Additional resources • • • • • • International Network for Social Network Analysis: www.insna.org and the socnet listserv. UCINET software available for download at www.analytictech.com. Stephen Borgatti, Martin Everett, and Linton Freeman. Ucinet for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis. Harvard, MA: Analytic Technologies, 2002. Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle. Introduction to Social Network Methods. Riverside, CA: University of California, Riverside, 2005. (Published in digital form at http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/.) John Scott. Social Network Analysis: A Handbook (2nd ed.). London: Sage, 2000. Stanley Wasserman and Katherine Faust. Social Network Analysis. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1994. 52 Talking STick
http://www.insna.org http://www.analytictech.com http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/

Talking Stick - July/August 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - July/August 2009

Talking Stick - July/August 2009
Contents
Online Now
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Facilities
Business
Calendar
The Other Side of the Street
Courting Change in Judicial Affairs
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
Welcome
Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - BB1
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - BB2
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Talking Stick - July/August 2009
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Cover2
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 1
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 2
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Contents
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Online Now
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 5
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Vision
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 7
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Just In
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 9
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 10
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 11
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 12
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Transitions
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 15
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Res Life
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 17
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 18
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 19
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Facilities
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 21
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 22
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 23
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Business
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 25
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 26
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Calendar
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - The Other Side of the Street
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 29
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 30
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 31
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 32
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 33
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 34
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 35
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Courting Change in Judicial Affairs
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 37
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 38
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 39
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 40
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 41
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 42
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 43
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 44
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Conversations
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 46
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 47
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 48
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - First Takes
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 51
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 52
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 53
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Welcome
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - 55
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Cover3
Talking Stick - July/August 2009 - Cover4
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