Friday, January 21, 2011

Discussion on SNAPP

Honestly, I was looking for this tool to generate the 'nodal network' to analyse the knowledge sharing over my social network. Yet, this 'webpage embedded analytics tool' - SNAPP - is basically compatible and purposely programmed for educational LMS, such as Moodle and Blackboard to name a few.

What is the benefit of SNAPP?
In terms of learning analytics, it is of no doubt a good tool to understand 'who learns from who', 'who picks up the trail from who', 'who follows or has interest on who/whose topic', and so on. It's about people and their activities that makes the network. It is something that I can make use of in my class in terms of identifying 'leaders' in class who have their own group of classmates that understand their styles of 'sharing knowledge'.

I find this (tool to identify leaders/facilitators) useful for programming (or highly technical) subjects, where students who help each other understand the technicality of programming language could assist me to guide the rest once they understood the concept I teach - so that I can concentrate on the other rest who needs my further attention to catch up with the topic taught the class. I experience this a lot in physical computer lab classes, especially when I have to cover certain topics in the syllabus and at the same time I have to monitor that everyone is catching up; and at each different lab session there could be different 'leaders' who voluntarily assist me in facilitating others, either in explaining the topic (how to program) or debug the code for their friends.

So these are the benefits I find from SNAPP - identifying prospect leaders who can be prospect MOOC initiators in their own environment/universities/communities.

What additional functionality is required?
Functionalities that may be valuable to add on can be:
  • Keywords of discussion that the people pick up from each thread that makes the connection - it can show how a topic can disperse or branch out into new topics, and how/what the people actually understand from the original aim of the syllabus.
  • Time gap between one person to another - it can show how long a person takes to catch up and what he/she may have missed that cause them to rely on those at the end of the thread.
  • In real physical class scenario, students/learners may tend to catch up at the end of the 'semester', so they may not follow much in weekly basis; a function that could tell who may be a bit left behind - different colour or something?
  • If it is logic that having more connections means you're a good learner, then maybe a function that shows the ranking in terms of number of connections (with other attributes/parameters) could assist in analysing the prospect "good" students.
  • Understanding the patterns of connections and what learners have learnt may help in structuring the assessment better.
Again, I still hope that I'm in the right track of our LAK topics.

4 more weeks to catch up!
- Shazz @ LAK
21 Jan 2011

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