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Do Hierarchical Positions Influence Participant’s
Network Behaviour within Communities of Learning?



                                  Martin Rehm, Wim Gijselaers, Mien Segers
                                                     AECT 2012, Louisville
facilitating an interpersonal
                                                  knowledge transfer among
                                                  employees constitutes a key
                                                  building block in setting up
                                                  organizational training initiatives
                                                  (Argote and Ingram, 2000)



http://basreus.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/soci
al-currency.jpg?w=720
Learning is an interactive process where participants with
diverse backgrounds collaboratively create knowledge within
social networks. (Hakkarainen, Palonen, Paavola, & Lehtinen, 2004)




                                   &




http://media.ascendworks.com/wp-
content/uploads/collaborate.jpg        http://www.webtrafficagents.com/i/network2.jpg
Communities of
                                                     Learning (CoL)

 http://www.dentalblogs.com/assets/global-team.jpg
• groups of people “engaging in collaborative learning and
  reflective practice involved in transformative learning”
  (Paloff and Pratt, 2003, p. 17)
                               BUT
• “the microcontext of concrete dialogical relationships cannot
  be understood without some concept of macroframes”
  (Hermans, 2001, p. 264)
Hierarchical Positions
                                                 and their Impact on
                                               Online Learning Networks




http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_BUuJl3ajKKs/SzjGsIU3QMI/AAAAAAAAAO8/er4WQCkpLuE/s400/birdstory.jpg
VS.


       http://hauptwort.at/wp-content/uploads/man-without-
       face.jpg                                                     http://www.johnlund.com/images/Get-The-
                                                                    Monkey-Off-Your-Back.jpg



       “deindividuation”                                           “monkey on your back”
(Weisband, Schneider, & Connolly, 1995, p. 1125)                      (e.g. Sutton, Neale, & Owens, 2000)
Research Hypotheses
• occupying high-level positions within an organization provides
  individuals with an intrinsic attraction to lower level
  management
  (Casciaro, 1998)



• all organizational learning processes are subject to the
  influence of a dominant individual or group of individuals
  (Holmqvist, 2009, p. 279)




 Participants’ network measures will be positively
  related to their hierarchical position (H1 & 2)
• “contact between similar people occurs at a higher rate than
  among dissimilar people”
  (McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001, p. 416)


                         Homophily

• “making it easier for them tohave common ground and
  common understanding as they embark on work together”
  (Haythornthwaite, 2008, p. 148)




 Participants will tend to interact more with colleagues
  from the same hierarchical position. (H3)
Setting
• online training program of a large international
  organization
• 14 weeks of online learning
• 25 CoL
   – 249 participants  ~ 10 participants per CoL
   – Hierarchical Positions: 82 “Low”, 93 “Middle”, 74 “High”
• asynchronous discussions forums:
   – Café-Talk
   – Content-Driven (real-life tasks)
Instruments
•   Social Network Analysis
     –    Connectivity Measures
          In-Degree
          Out-Degree


     –    External – Internal Index
          ranges from -1 (all ties are internal )
           to +1 (all ties are external


     –    Read- & Reply-Networks
          (Daradoumis, Martínez-Monés, & Xhafa, 2004)
Read Network – including Hierarhical Positions
Reply Network
Reply Network




                                                 High
                                                 Middle
                                                 Low
- H1
- H2
E-I Index : Read-Networks                                                             E-I Index : Reply-Networks

                                                                                      ,40
,60
,50                                                                                   ,30
,40
,30                                                                                   ,20
,20
,10                                                                                   ,10

,00
      Interval 1    Interval 2   Interval 3   Interval 4    Interval 5   Interval 6   ,00
                                                                                            Interval 1    Interval 2   Interval 3   Interval 4    Interval 5   Interval 6

                         "Low"         "Middle"            "High"                                              "Low"         "Middle"            "High"




                                                                                                                                                      H3
Conclusions

• Read Networks  equally distributed

• Reply Networks  significant differences in participants’
  network measures based on hierarchical position

• No homophily

        “neo-apprenticeship style learning”
          (Gannon-Leary & Fontainha, 2007, p. 3)
rehm@merit.unu.edu

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Do Hierarchical Positions Influence Participant’s Network Behaviour within Communities of Learning?

  • 1. Do Hierarchical Positions Influence Participant’s Network Behaviour within Communities of Learning? Martin Rehm, Wim Gijselaers, Mien Segers AECT 2012, Louisville
  • 2. facilitating an interpersonal knowledge transfer among employees constitutes a key building block in setting up organizational training initiatives (Argote and Ingram, 2000) http://basreus.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/soci al-currency.jpg?w=720
  • 3. Learning is an interactive process where participants with diverse backgrounds collaboratively create knowledge within social networks. (Hakkarainen, Palonen, Paavola, & Lehtinen, 2004) & http://media.ascendworks.com/wp- content/uploads/collaborate.jpg http://www.webtrafficagents.com/i/network2.jpg
  • 4. Communities of Learning (CoL) http://www.dentalblogs.com/assets/global-team.jpg • groups of people “engaging in collaborative learning and reflective practice involved in transformative learning” (Paloff and Pratt, 2003, p. 17) BUT • “the microcontext of concrete dialogical relationships cannot be understood without some concept of macroframes” (Hermans, 2001, p. 264)
  • 5. Hierarchical Positions and their Impact on Online Learning Networks http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_BUuJl3ajKKs/SzjGsIU3QMI/AAAAAAAAAO8/er4WQCkpLuE/s400/birdstory.jpg
  • 6. VS. http://hauptwort.at/wp-content/uploads/man-without- face.jpg http://www.johnlund.com/images/Get-The- Monkey-Off-Your-Back.jpg “deindividuation” “monkey on your back” (Weisband, Schneider, & Connolly, 1995, p. 1125) (e.g. Sutton, Neale, & Owens, 2000)
  • 8. • occupying high-level positions within an organization provides individuals with an intrinsic attraction to lower level management (Casciaro, 1998) • all organizational learning processes are subject to the influence of a dominant individual or group of individuals (Holmqvist, 2009, p. 279)  Participants’ network measures will be positively related to their hierarchical position (H1 & 2)
  • 9. • “contact between similar people occurs at a higher rate than among dissimilar people” (McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001, p. 416)  Homophily • “making it easier for them tohave common ground and common understanding as they embark on work together” (Haythornthwaite, 2008, p. 148)  Participants will tend to interact more with colleagues from the same hierarchical position. (H3)
  • 10. Setting • online training program of a large international organization • 14 weeks of online learning • 25 CoL – 249 participants  ~ 10 participants per CoL – Hierarchical Positions: 82 “Low”, 93 “Middle”, 74 “High” • asynchronous discussions forums: – Café-Talk – Content-Driven (real-life tasks)
  • 11. Instruments • Social Network Analysis – Connectivity Measures  In-Degree  Out-Degree – External – Internal Index  ranges from -1 (all ties are internal ) to +1 (all ties are external – Read- & Reply-Networks (Daradoumis, Martínez-Monés, & Xhafa, 2004)
  • 12. Read Network – including Hierarhical Positions Reply Network Reply Network High Middle Low
  • 14. E-I Index : Read-Networks E-I Index : Reply-Networks ,40 ,60 ,50 ,30 ,40 ,30 ,20 ,20 ,10 ,10 ,00 Interval 1 Interval 2 Interval 3 Interval 4 Interval 5 Interval 6 ,00 Interval 1 Interval 2 Interval 3 Interval 4 Interval 5 Interval 6 "Low" "Middle" "High" "Low" "Middle" "High" H3
  • 15. Conclusions • Read Networks  equally distributed • Reply Networks  significant differences in participants’ network measures based on hierarchical position • No homophily  “neo-apprenticeship style learning” (Gannon-Leary & Fontainha, 2007, p. 3)
  • 16.