ERA

Download the full-sized PDF of The network structure of courses in Alberta's provincial education systemDownload the full-sized PDF

Analytics

Share

Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R34D7W

Download

Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley

Communities

This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of

Collections

This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

The network structure of courses in Alberta's provincial education system Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
prerequisite
calendar
structure
network
visualization
education
complexity
course
spatial
physics
map
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fuite, Jim
Supervisor and department
Tuszynski, Jack (Physics)
Simmt, Elaine (Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Shiri, Ali (Library and Information Studies)
Nocente, Norma (Secondary Education)
Nespor, Jan (Educational Policy & Leadership)
Department
Department of Secondary Education and Department of Physics
Specialization

Date accepted
2011-10-05T18:24:35Z
Graduation date
2011-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Recent shifts towards spatial issues within education are examined, and mapping is identified as particularly important. The multidisciplinary trend of complexity science is surveyed, in turn, through the lens of physics and education research. The provincial education system of Alberta is considered to be a complex system. Network theory is proposed as a spatial metaphor that effectively describes many complex systems. Amalgamating spatial and complexity thinking from both physics and education, a generalizable network approach is presented to describe and explore the organization of one global aspect of education in Alberta: the courses. By imagining every course as a node, and by linking each course with those that are required as prerequisites, a directed network representing kindergarten through undergraduate studies is constructed in a tailored computing environment, called Calendar Navigator. Important products from such a network description are illustrative visuals, which are intuitively informative. These network graphics and animations can serve as an interactive, dynamic map for students of their local academic surroundings while traveling through the education system, by making clear where they have come from, where they are, and where they can go. A selection of metrics drawn from social network analysis and physics literature, and some here devised especially for course networks, are applied and interpreted. An analytical understanding of the global structure and shape of the education system via network theory can help inform administrators and policy makers to better understand and manage their educational institutions.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R34D7W
Rights
License granted by Jim Fuite (jfuite@ualberta.ca) on 2011-10-05T15:05:44Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
2014-04-24T22:04:01.386+00:00
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
Characterization
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 68603176
Last modified: 2015:10:12 16:06:34-06:00
Filename: ThesisCombined2.pdf
Original checksum: 09a481d1e22f3b228fb5e9d2b59a3426
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: Too many fonts to report; some fonts omitted. Total fonts = 1720
File title: ThesisTitlePageI
File title: ThesisTitlePage
File author: Jim J Fuite
Page count: 404
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date