Effects of a Discussion Tool on Collaborative Learning and Social Network Structure within an Organization

  • Tomsic A
  • Suthers D
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This study investigated the socialnetwork structure of booking officers at the Honolulu Police Department and how the introduction of an online discussion tool affected knowledge about operation of a booking module. Baseline data provided evidence for collaboration among officers in the same district using e-mail, telephone and face-to-face media but showed minimal collaboration between officers in different districts. On average, knowledge of the booking module was low. After introduction of the online discussion tool the socialnetwork structure changed, showing an increase in collaboration between different districts and an increase in knowledge of the booking module, even though frequency of collaboration did not increase significantly. The study suggests that the formation of new collaborative ties and passive participation ("lurking") are more significant for learning through information sharing in social networks than raw frequency of interaction.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Internet   community development   data mining  
  • Internet   data mining   educational computing  

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  • A Tomsic

  • D Suthers

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