In Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning (AICML), I was part of the developing a network analysis toolbox called Meerkat, which offers variety of network analysis algorithms for visualization and analyzing the community structure and evolution of information and social networks. Meerkat is a general network analysis toolbox, which could be adjusted for different specific applications. In my masters research I have modified it for educational environments. The resulted toolbox is called Meerkat-ED, which prepares and visualizes overall snapshots of participants in the discussion forums, their interactions, and the leaders/peripheral students in these discussions and much more.
- Reihaneh Rabbany, Samira ElAtia, Mansoureh Takaffoli, and Osmar R. Zaiane, Collaborative Learning of Students in Online Discussion Forums: A Social Network Analysis Perspective", in the Springer edited book Educational Data Mining: Applications and Trends, Springer Series: Studies in Computational Intelligence, 2013
- Reihaneh Rabbany, Mansoureh Takaffoli, Osmar R. Zaiane, Social Network Analysis and Mining to Support the Assessment of Online Student Participation, ACM SIGKDD Explorations on Educational Data mining, December 2011
- Reihaneh Rabbany, Mansoureh Takaffoli, Osmar R. Zaiane, Analyzing Participation of Students in Online Courses Using Social Network Analysis Techniques, 4th International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM'11), Eindhoven, Netherlands, July 6-8, 2011
An executable jar file of the toolbox and its required libraries can be downladed here.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you encounter any problems or have any questions.
- Download and unzip the MeerkatED zip file
- Execute the MeerkatED.jar either through console or by opening it with Sun Java Runtime
- Open your course backup file (form moodle v1.5 or v2) from File>Open
On Input Format
In Moodle when you are instructing a course, you can back up the course data as a xml file (Moodle 1.5) or a mbz archive file (Moodle 2).
And Meerkat-ED extracts the information about the discussion threads from these files.
If the course is not in Moodle, as an alternative, you can format any course data into a simple standard format,
save it as a text file(.txt) and open it using MeerkatED to analyze that data.
A sample file in that format is included within the MeerkatED package.