Thanks to the development of digital methods of research, digital media
are considered a source of knowledge rather than just an object of
The possibility to access the heterogeneous flows of data and
information emerging from the internet could be seen as an innovative
method to observe and represent social complex phenomena.
This approach gives us the opportunity to look at the web as a
continuous space as part of the real and to consider that social-media
contain rich digital data and information to capture, explain and
discuss social phenomena, like the italian education system that we
wanted to explore in this work.
Our quali-quantitative research has its field of
analysis in two opposite actors who have voice in University: students
and universities themselves.
To do this, we identified students with
forums (for the unstructured kind of communication they have, that
reflects the way young people use internet) and universities with the
Ministerial Files regarding each college and course
What we aim is to understand if these two actors speak the same speech
(such as problems, opportunities, etc) or not, if they speak about the
same topics, and if it happens, who speaks more about what and how. In
order to visualize similarities and differences in the way the two poles
speak about topics, we hypothesized an interactive tool that permits to
compare thematic areas, visualize the importance of words through
tagclouds and discover the context of a single semantic unit (the phrase
it comes from) through word-trees.
Monica Diani, Valerio Pellegrini, Tommaso Trojani, Giorgio Roberto Uboldi, Francesco Villa