Using social media for learning - Dawn Birch

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Information about Using social media for learning - Dawn Birch

Published on March 13, 2014

Author: HEASocSci



Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'Exploring the value of social media for education and research in business and management studies'.

The aim of the workshop was to consider ways in which academics engage with social media to enhance student and staff education and research experience. The focus will be to facilitate discussions towards an expected output with a set of generic enablers and inhibiters for adoption of social media in academic collaboration.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event:

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences, please see:

1 Using Social Media for Learning Dr Dawn Birch 5 February 2014 Session Overview Learning in a digital age: Connectivism Uses of social media for learning Facebook Wikis Instructional design principles The role of the educator in networked learning environments Question time Learning Theory for the Digital Age: Connectivism Learning is building networks of information, contacts and resources that are applied to real problems (Anderson 2011)

2 Connectivist Learning Principles (Siemens, G. 2004) Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources. Learning may reside in non-human appliances. Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known. Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning. Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. Currency (accurate, up- to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. Technology Enhanced Learning Adoption and integration of relevant, cost-effective, pragmatic, supported and pedagogically sound technologies for learning including social media. Creation of e-learning experiences that reflect students’ current ways of accessing and digesting information and their diverse modal preferences and learning styles Provision of an enriched, current, relevant, inclusive, interactive and engaging learning experience. Can social media achieve better learning outcomes? Facilitate both cognitive and social learning outcomes. Develop important graduate attributes and skills • e.g. creative thinking, engagement, electronic communication, use of technology, etc. Improve retention and progression rates through increased personalisation and connectedness. Make learning more enjoyable and engaging leading to life-long learning.

3 Social media can facilitate a better student learning experience Connection • links to useful, topical and relevant information and resources • currency - ‘real- time’ elements • opportunities for connecting with content, other students, teaching team, real-world content Interaction • engagement and involvement • communication - sharing, commenting, liking • interactive elements – e.g. surveys, polls Inclusion • appeal to diverse learning styles and modal preferences • Convenience, accessibility and flexibility – any time and any place Personalisation • accessibility - regular communication • develop rapport and social presence • responsiveness - key dimension of service quality Why do I use Facebook for my courses? Developing a closer connection with students • Establishing rapport • Being more accessible and approachable • Less formal, more friendly interactions Being more responsive • Notifications pop up in my email • Easy and quick to use Why do I use Facebook for my courses? Sharing current and relevant information • Validates the course content • Increases student engagement Sharing ideas and examples • Collaborative learning and co- creation Gauging where student’s interests lie Provides a permanent page once the course is finished

4 How can Facebook be used? Links to interesting articles Links to YouTube content Announcements Assessment discussion Links to slide share presentations Student Feedback • Course evaluation surveys • Survey monkey Strategic Marketing Management 2013 Item Dis-agree Neither agree nor dis-agree Agree Strongly agree Mean The Facebook page added to my enjoyment of the class 3.4% (1) 6.9% (2) 48.3% (14) 41.4% (12) 4.28 The Facebook page was a valuable addition to the unit 3.4% (1) 3.4% (1) 41.4% (12) 51.7% (15) 4.41 The Facebook page made me feel more connected with the lecturer 0.0% (0) 6.9% (2) 27.6% (8) 65.5% (19) 4.59 The Facebook page made me feel more connected with other students 6.9% (2) 10.3% (3) 41.4% (12) 41.4% (12) 4.17 The teaching team should use Facebook again next time the unit is offered 3.4% (1) 0.0% (0) 27.6% (8) 69.0% (20) 4.62

5 I enjoyed the interaction through Facebook I liked the friendly approach and the Facebook page Increased Interaction and Connection Improved Learning All of the students got involved with the Facebook page, posting up various articles, which I found beneficial. It was the first time I had used Facebook to help me with my studies and it was very useful. Using Facebook to introduce our own examples helped to solidify our understanding. Greater currency and relevance I liked the Facebook page, up to date content and great lecturers

6 Higher Engagement Generally found this my most interesting and engaging unit. The Facebook group and discussion board were very effective. The Facebook group and lectures/seminars have all been engaging and I think very helpful in helping us learn. So, should we continue to use Facebook? The Facebook page worked well. I was sceptical at the creation of the Facebook group, but have found it to be a very helpful way of keeping in contact with the lecturer and as a forum for discussion about the assignment. Facebook page was a great addition and I think should become a norm. Social Marketing USC 2012

7 How often have you used the Facebook Page this semester? 0.0% 0.0% 16.7% 16.7% 66.7% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% Not at all About once 1-5 times 6-9 times 10 plus times How much have you enjoyed using the Facebook page? 5.6% 38.9% 55.6% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% Not at all Not very much Somewhat Very much What aspects of the Facebook page have you found to be useful? 66.7% 44.4% 94.4% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Discussion about social marketing campaigns Links to social marketing campaigns Discussion about assessment

8 Did the Facebook page make you feel more connected to other students? 33.3% 50.0% 5.6% 11.1% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Did the Facebook page make you feel more connected with the course leader? 38.9% 61.1% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% Strongly agree Agree Would you like other courses to use Facebook? 82.4% 11.8% 5.9% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% Strongly agree Agree Strongly disagree

9 Did the Facebook page add to your enjoyment of the course? 33.3% 55.6% 5.6% 5.6% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% Strongly agree Agree Neutral Strongly disagree Did the Facebook page assist you to learn more about social marketing? 16.7% 66.7% 11.1% 5.6% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% Strongly agree Agree Neutral Strongly disagree It was very helpful, especially when assignments were almost due and confusion was high I found it most useful when talking about the assignment. It’s good to know other people are having the same problems as you, and answers were given by both peers and the course coordinator within minutes or hours. It was much easier and convenient than having to email the tutor with every question Very helpful for small tips and information

10 Great page. Dawn’s availability was do dedicated and helpful. I feel Blackboard does not have the capability to connect both students and teaching staff. The fact that students are asking the same questions other students also want to know is fantastic, and saves Dawn telling 10 people the same answer. I think Facebook is great for university. It is convenient, easy to use and a lot more convenient than Blackboard. Keys to Success Get the students actively involved • Get one of them to set up the group • Ask them to add you as admin so you can monitor and add members Put the group link up on MyBU so they can access the group to join • Make an announcement on my BU Show the page in the lecture • Encourage membership • Acknowledge contributions Be active on the page • Post current and relevant articles demonstrating link to the material being covered in the course Be responsive – liking, commenting Just a few points to consider Not all students have a Facebook account • Duplicate important information and messages on myBU Not all teaching team members have or want a Facebook page Don’t add students as friends on your personal page • Understand the privacy settings Keep it strictly course-related • Set the right tone early and make it clear that the page is all about the course

11 Other Tools Twitter Linked-In YouTube Wikis and Blogs Others?? Wikis for Reflection and/or Assessment Wikis for Reflection and/or Assessment

12 Ultimately I think the Wiki does a good job in what it is designed to do. It encourages you to read the readings basically. I'm guilty and I'm sure we all are of skipping through an e-reading, throwing a citation in there and away you go. I've found that this course definitely encouraged me to read the readings, read each individual one. Now I've read all six I think… Gagne's 9 steps of instruction How could social media be used to...? 1. Gain attention 2. Inform about learning objectives 3. Stimulate recall of prior knowledge 4. Present the material to be learned 5. Provide guidance for learning 6. Elicit performance "practice" 7. Provide informative feedback 8. Assess performance 9. Enhance retention and transfer What is the role of the educator in networked learning environments? 1. Amplifying 2. Curating 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking 4. Aggregating 5. Filtering 6. Modelling 7. Persistent presence

13 Drivers and Barriers to Using Social Media for Learning What are the key drivers, benefits, motivators, enhancers for using social media for learning? What are the key barriers, obstacles, challenges, inhibitors for using social media for learning? Discussion and questions Resources • Setting up a group page • Emerging EdTech site • Van Doorn, G. & Eklund, A. 2013. Face to Facebook: Social media and the learning and teaching potential of symmetrical, synchronous communication. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice – ontext=jutlp • Siemens, G. Learning in the Future, Available at

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