Assignment 3

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[Please feel free to modify/reuse this assignment in your class]

Sample Social Media Analytics Assignment 

The Learning Network: Class Hashtag


  • Objective 1:Become familiar with working with social media data;
  • Objective 2: Be able to identify main topical themes and key influencers using text and network analysis; and
  • Objective 3: Understand how information flows within the learning network.

Software: Netlytic (

Software Documentation (Videos and Guides):

Data source: Publically available social media data from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Datasets for this assignment will be collected by students using Netlytic.

This assignment will require the class to participate in an online discussion using Twitter over the course of 1 month. 


  • Students will need to create a Twitter account and Netlytic
  • As a class decide on a course specific hashtag to include in posts so that conversations may be grouped and used for analysis

Main Steps:

      1. Contribute to a Twitter based discussion by using the class hashtag. Students are encouraged to post 3-4 times a week with questions or comments on class content. Students must contribute at least 1 post listing up to 5 other student from whom they learned the most.

        NOTE: Students are encouraged to use an existing twitter account as new users may not appear in data collection.

      2. Collect Twitter hashtag using Netlytic over a 1-month period. (Please see the Netlytic YouTube Channel for tutorials on importing data).
      3. Build a Name Network in Netlytic.


Students will prepare a final report (8-10 pages). The written project report should be submitted electronically via the course website.

Each student will prepare a brief report on the text and network analysis and will address the following questions:

Text Analysis

  • What are the main topics of conversation?
  • Using the word cloud and categories tree map visualizations as a guide,
  • describe the “feel” or general mood of the network?
  • Discuss any unexpected terms that appeared in the word cloud – why do you
  • think these occurred? What is the context the class discussion?
  • Include 2-3 screenshots.

Network Analysis

  • Describe at least 2 network measures and what they mean in regard to the learning network interactions.
  • Include 2-3 screenshots.


As part of your reflection, think about the following:

  • Discuss the benefits to using social network analysis.
  • What challenges arose while working with social media data?
  • Why do you think it is or is not important to study online conversations?

Class Discussion

Students will be given an opportunity to come together as a class and discuss their findings based on the questions outlined above.