An increasing number of collaborative and social media tools are available and many of these can be used to help meet teaching goals in different contexts.
Use of collaborative and social media tools by higher education providers is already common. Blaschke observes that the use of social media is 'on the rise within education, both outside and inside the classroom' (2014, p.1). Nevertheless she also highlights the importance of always finding the 'approach that has the most meaningful learning outcome' when using any kind of learning technology.
Of course, it is also important to use social media in teaching in line with YSJ social media policy:
To ensure that students who are not familiar with new technologies are not disadvantaged, the VLE (Moodle), Mahara and Sharepoint should be used as the main on-line environments for publishing core resources, lecture materials and formal student communications. The University does however recognise that social learning tools are increasingly being used as teaching resources to enhance and develop the curriculum and respond to learner expectations.
Research into Use of Collaborative and Social Media in Teaching
Research into the use of collaborative and social media in teaching points to many benefits offered by these tools. However, their use needs to be aligned with teaching goals and included where it can enhance the learning experience avoiding contributing to information overload and confusion over how to communicate with instructors and other students.
- Salmon et al. (2015, p.10) found that social media 'enhanced participants' overall learning experience and [...] led to increased networking and knowledge sharing with peers' in online courses. They nevertheless emphasise the importance of ensuring that use of social media complements rather than duplicates course materials provided through an LMS 'to persuade students that social media is not a waste of time' (p.11).
-Liu (2018) points to research which demonstrates the value of social media in education, the way it can be used by universities to communicate with other institutions, and by academics for community engagement and professional development. In her own study she finds that 'Twitter-based activities enhance students’ lecture experience by improving specific aspects of the learning process, in particular, by enabling students to become involved in active learning' (p.17). Nevertheless she highlights the importance of pedagogical design in the 'usefulness of activities' as well as the 'inclination of students to actively use them' (p.17).
There is considerable evidence to support the value of using Twitter in different teaching contexts. Deaves et al. (2019, p.2) highlight that Twitter, 'in particular, has been perceived as applicable to and appropriate for educational content, as well as being received positively by the learners'. Liu observes that Twitter has been proved to improve student engagement as well as contributing to 'more effective communication' (2018, p.3).
10 Days of Twitter
YSJ10DoT will help you to learn to use Twitter from scratch, build up your network and join in the conversation in 10 days.
YSJ10DoT normally runs over a set ten days during the academic year giving participants the opportunity to connect and learn from one another. However, you can follow the course at any point in the year and learn all the same useful tips. Of course you can always contact the TEL team with any issues - @YSJTEL.
Day 2 – Sending tweets
Day 3 – Following people
Day 5 – Tweeting media and polls
Day 6 – Retweeting
Day 7 – Hashtags & trends
Blaschke, L. (2014). 'Using social media to engage and develop the online learner in self-determined learning'. Research in Learning Technology, 22. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.21635
Deaves, A., Grant, E., Trainor, K., & Jarvis, K. (2019). 'Students’ perceptions of the educational value of Twitter: a mixed-methods investigation'. Research in Learning Technology, 27. Available at: https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v27.2139
Kietzmann, J., Kristoffer, H. and McCarthy, I. P. and Silvestre, B. (2014) 'Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media'. Business Horizons. 54(3). Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519365
Liu, C. (2018). 'Social media as a student response system: new evidence on learning impact'. Research in Learning Technology, 26. Available at: https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2043
Salmon, G., Ross, B., Pechenkina, E., & Chase, A.-M. (2015). 'The space for social media in structured online learning'. Research in Learning Technology, 23. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.28507