Development Patterns of Scientific Communities in Technology Enhanced Learning
Conferences play an important role in scientific community building, and in cooperation and dissemination related to Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). In this article we analyze the communities of five major conferences in TEL, including ICALT, ECTEL, ICWL, ITS, and AIED, with the aim of understanding the development patterns of these TEL communities. This is achieved through social network analysis and time series analysis applied to the co-authorship and citation networks of these conferences. In addition, we compare the development pattern of TEL conference communities to benchmarks drawn from long-established and highly successful conferences on database research. The analyses of the social network parameters of the conference communities generated several insights. We found that TEL conferences exhibit a mixed development pattern of young, emerging conferences that are still in the process of developing their communities. We also found that the more interdisciplinary conferences in our data set exhibited a slower rate of community development compared to those conferences with more focused topics. Regarding the practical implications of these findings, we have offered some recommendations to different stakeholders including conference chairs and key authors.
Educational Technology & Society, 15(3): 323-335 (2012)