Call for participation

Connecting Levels Of Learning In Networked Communities


  • Daniel SUTHERS, University of Hawaii
  • Christopher TEPLOVS, University of Toronto
  • Maarten DE LAAT, Open Universiteit Nederland
  • Jun OSHIMA, Shizuoka University
  • Sam ZEINI, University Duisburg-Essen

This workshop is for researchers in CSCL and related fields who seek to understand how learning takes place in the interplay between individual, small group and collective (community or networked) levels of activity in "online" or Information and Communication Technology-mediated settings. We will address concomitant questions concerning how theories at multiple levels of analysis articulate with each other or explain phenomena across levels, and how methods for local analysis (e.g., process oriented microanalysis) can be coordinated with methods for global analysis (e.g., structural social network analysis). Examples of relevant research questions include:

  • How does learning takes place through the interplay between individual and collective agency?
  • How are local phenomena (individual and small group activity) aggregated (e.g., via stigmergy) to lead to emergent phenomena that create resources, contexts, or value that are then available for individual and small group learning?
  • How are advances in community knowledge (knowledge building) driven by local activity?

The workshop will examine theoretical and methodological approaches to these questions in conjunction with each other, for example:

  • Do the different levels of analysis need different theories that then must be articulated with each other?
  • Are there theoretical perspectives that themselves bridge the levels of analysis?
  • How can (for example) sequential analysis of interaction, content analysis and social network analysis be coordinated to address these issues?
  • How can we use aggregate levels of analysis to figure out where to "dive in" for local analysis, for example to make sense of results at the aggregate community level, or to find local sources of innovation?
  • What practical techniques such as different forms of triangulation or visualization techniques help connect the different levels of analysis?

Format and Roles

This will be a one day workshop. It will include framing presentations by organizers and, according to the submissions we receive, analyses of shared data corpora by several analysts, and small group and full group discussion of related topics. Potential participants may request one of the following roles:

Data Presenter/Analysts:

Researchers who have a corpus that potentially illustrates learning phenomena at multiple levels and can make it available to other workshop participants in advance. They will summarize the data (setting, how collected, etc.) and present their own multi-level analysis.


Researchers who have approaches to analyzing learning at multiple levels who will be given access to the data and conduct their own analyses for presentation in the workshop.


Researchers who have theoretical and/or methodological orientations that might inform the question of connecting levels of analysis, and are asked to comment on what we learn from the above analyses.

Concept Presenters:

Participants who are not prepared or not selected to play the above roles but who have some concept at theoretical or methodological levels that organizers judge to be of potential value. They may be asked to give brief presentations.

Basic Participants:

Persons with an interest in the topic but who are not prepared or not selected to play the above roles. They will be welcome to participate in all open discussion.

Applying for Participation

All interested researchers should submit up to two pages summarizing their relevant prior experience, their objectives in participating in this workshop, and a bibliography of relevant publications or an URL providing further information on the researcher's work. The abstract should indicate which of the types of participation discussed above is requested: Data presenter/analyst, Analyst, Discussant, brief Concept presentation, or Basic participation. Those who propose Concept Presentations should submit one additional page on a concept that can be presented in 5-10 minutes. Researchers who wish to be selected as Analyst or Discussant should submit up to two pages characterizing their theoretical and/or methodological approach to connecting levels of learning. Potential Data Presenters should meet the requirement for Analyst and also submit up to two pages summarizing the nature of the corpus and making the case that this data will serve the objectives of the workshop. Data Presenters are encouraged to contact organizers in advance to discuss the corpus.

Send applications (PDF preferred, but other common document formats are acceptable) to Dan Suthers and Chris Teplovs . Submit by February 21, 2011 for priority consideration. (Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis.) Acceptance decisions will be sent out by March 15, 2011. Data Presenters will be expected to provide data to Analysts by April 15, 2011.

Last modified on January 28, 2011