, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 175-189
Date: 13 Nov 2008

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know: Testing a model of the relative importance of social networks to academic performance

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Applying three mathematical modeling techniques, this study proposes and tests the fit of an academic performance model, and then estimates the relative importance of four performance predictors: academic ability, performance goal orientation, educational technology use, and social network density. Drawing on social network theory, findings from this study show that social network density is a statistically important and unique predictor of academic performance, suggesting that “who you know” matters in large classroom settings. However, this study also indicates that academic ability is the most dominant factor in the explanation of academic performance. Practical and theoretical implications for enhancing academic performance through social networks are discussed.