This study examines how networks of connectivity (both social and academic) among courses, students, and faculty relate to student engagement and learning outcomes. The study will employ a social network research methodology, using surveys and data from the University of Michigan’s M-Pathways to identify existing relationships and patterns of interaction at various levels: student-student, student-instructor, student-course, instructor-instructor, instructor-course, and course-course.
The University's M-Pathways systems are maintained by Information and Technology Services and include financials, human resource management, physical resources, and student administration systems. These systems were developed to improve processes and simplify policies in a way that makes interaction with the University easier for applicants, students, faculty, and staff. They were also intended to share common information so that it is collected only once and to use new technology to speed the management and exchange of information.
This project will contribute to research on how features of school contexts, including peer social networks, culture, and use of educational technology, promote or hinder the development of students’ academic motivation.