Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Matthew S. Smith (2011) A Computational Framework for Social Capital in Online Communities, A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The explosion of online social media means that it is now possible to collect rich data about people’s connections and interactions, in a completely ubiquitous, non-intrusive manner. Such dynamic social data opens the door to the more accurate measuring and tracking of social capital. Similarly, online data is replete with additional personal data, such as topics discussed in blogs or hobbies listed in personal profiles, that is difficult to obtain through standard surveys. Such information can be used to discover similarities, or implicit affinities, among individuals, which in turn leads to finer measures of social capital, including the often useful distinction between bonding and bridging social capital.

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