Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jason Deibel (Committee Member), Doug Petkie (Committee Member), Eric Rowley (Committee Member), Adrienne Traxler (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The use of social network analysis in physics education research seeks to advance understanding of how students' collaborative tendencies influence trends of learning. Common useful measurements are network size, density of connections, and centrality measures that describe the importance of nodes' positions. This study compared four different centrality measures at the beginning and end of seven sections of an introductory calculus-based physics course. The Force Concept Inventory was used as a measure of conceptual learning at pre- and post-course administrations. The main focus of this study was to identify if differences in network centralities and conceptual learning/knowledge exist with respect to students' designations as non-traditional or traditional (age 22+). Various class sizes, styles, and instructors were included in the data. Results showed some common and conflicting trends for the different class types, with non-traditional students generally at a disadvantage in network position but comparable in conceptual scores.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Physics

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Physics Commons