Journal List > Perspect Nurs Sci > v.13(1) > 1060418

Perspect Nurs Sci. 2016 Apr;13(1):29-35. Korean.
Published online April 29, 2016.
© 2016 The Research Institute of Nursing Science Seoul National University
The Effect of Problem Based Learning on Nursing Students' Interaction and Self-directed Learning: A Social Network Analysis
Mei Hua Piao and Jeong Eun Kim
1Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Cheju Halla University, Jeju, Korea.
2Professor, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

Corresponding author: Kim, Jeong Eun. College of Nursing, Seoul National University, 103 Daehak-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea. Tel: +82-2-740-8483, Fax: +82-2-766-1852, Email:
Received February 26, 2016; Revised March 03, 2016; Accepted March 03, 2016.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study aimed to explore the underlying structures of students' interaction networks to monitor network changes during the year, to verify the relationship with self-directed learning, and to identify the effect of problem-based learning on interaction and self-directed learning.


A longitudinal study was designed which included 3 parts (A=25, B=27, C=26) with a total of 78 second-year nursing students from 2013 to 2014. Interaction indicators used group network centralization and density, and individual in-degree centrality.


Group network centralization showed mean reversion patterns, however, centralization and density showed a slight increase from 2013 to 2014 (Centralization of A part from 52.78 to 36.96, B part from 20.56 to 32.20, C part from 34.40 to 37.24; Density of A part from 0.122 to 0.123, B part from 0.111 to 0.121, C part from 0.109 to 0.121). The individual in-degree centrality is significantly correlated with self-directed learning and the correlation coefficient increased during the year (r=.274 in 2013, r=.356 in 2014, p<.001).


Students share information more interactively during the year and the more they share the higher the scores of self-directed learning.

Keywords: Problem-based learning; Social network analysis; Self-directed learning; Social network centrality


Figure 1
Study interaction network sociogram (Class A)
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Figure 2
Study interaction network sociogram (Class B).
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Figure 3
Study interaction network sociogram (Class C)
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Table 1
Study Interaction Network Characteristics by Classes
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Table 2
Individual in-degree Centrality and Self-directed Learning
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Table 3
The Relationship between Individual In-degree Centrality & Self-Directed Learning
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