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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.