Networked learning a relational approach: Weak and strong ties

Jones, C. R.; Ferreday, D. and Hodgson, V. (2008). Networked learning a relational approach: Weak and strong ties. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(2) pp. 90–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2007.00271.x

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the idea of weak ties in networked learning. We go back to the original conception of the strength of weak ties (Granovetter 1973) and relate this to Bakhtin and a dialogic understanding of networked learning (Koschmann 1999, Dysthe 2002). These theoretical ideas are applied to the examination of two networked settings in which educational leaders exchange ideas and have the potential to create knowledge. We examine these networks from the point of view of the overall pattern of interaction and from an interest in the kinds of dialogues engaged in by participants in the network. We identify an area for further research in a comparison of the dimensions of links that appear to be weaker in these networks, those concerning affective aspects of the relationship, with those concerned with the sharing of knowledge which appear to be relatively well developed. We suggest that presence and proximity become forms of tele-presence and tele-proximity and rely more heavily on interactional means to achieve identity formation. Finally we note that knowledge is negotiated and the marks of its personal and situated origin are essential parts of the exchange through dialogue.

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