Analyzing Conversations Using ENA

Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA) has the potential to model conversations in real time. In conjunction with speech-to-text software, real-time ENA can offer educators a way to visualize and analyze how their students talk through a topic or problem.  We demonstrate what this process might look like using a scene from Season 7, Episode 14 (“Taboo”) of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

In this scene, three characters are discussing possible explanations for a crime. We see individual ENA networks developing for each of these characters as they make verbal connections between concepts. Each resulting network represents a particular way of thinking about the world, which we refer to as an epistemic frame. In the context of a classroom, the visualization of students’ various epistemic frames has the power to provide real-time models of the learning process as well as opportunities for intervention.

egg logo vertiaca; egg logo vertiaca; egg logo vertiaca;
This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (DRL-0918409, DRL-0946372, DRL-1247262, DRL-1418288, DRL-1661036, DRL-1713110, DUE-0919347, DUE-1225885, EEC-1232656, EEC-1340402, REC-0347000), the MacArthur Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The opinions, findings, and conclusions do not reflect the views of the funding agencies, cooperating institutions, or other individuals.