Exploring development of social capital in a cMOOC through language and discourse

Srecko Joksimovic, Nia Dowell, Oleksandra Poquet, Vitomir Kovanovic, Dragan Gasevic, Shane Dawson, Arthur Graesser

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Connectivist pedagogies are geared towards building a network of learners that actively employ technologies to establish interpersonal connections in open online settings. In this context, as course participants increasingly establish interpersonal relationships among peers they have greater opportunity to draw on and leverage the latent social capital that resides in such a distributed learning environment. However, to date there have been a limited number of studies exploring how learners build their social capital in open large-scale courses. To inform the facilitation of learner networks in open online settings and beyond, this study analyzed factors associated with how learners accumulate social capital in the form of learner connections overtime. The study was conducted in two massive open online course offerings (Connectivism and Connective Knowledge) that were designed on the principles of connectivist pedagogy and that made use of data about social interaction from Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. For this purpose,linear mixed modelling was used to understand the associations between learner social capital,linguistic and discourse patterns, media used for interaction, as well as the time in the course when interaction took place. The results highlight the association between the language used by the learners and the creation of ties between them. Analyses on the accumulation of connections overtime have implications for the pedagogical choices that would be expected to help learners leverage access to potential social capital in a networked context.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationInternet and Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sep 2017


  • social network analysis
  • massive open online course
  • MOOCs
  • learning analytics
  • discourse analysis
  • social networks
  • online learning
  • education
  • connectivism


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring development of social capital in a cMOOC through language and discourse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this