USING SOCIAL BOOKMARKING TO EVALUATE DISTANCE LEARNERS’ INFORMATION COMPETENCE
Though not designed and delivered for educational purposes, commercial social media are increasingly being used in formal learning settings as an instructional tool. A number of studies have been carried out to highlight their pedagogical affordances, particularly referring to platforms like Facebook (Niu, 2019), Twitter (Tang & Hew, 2017) or Youtube (Snelson, 2018).
Among the benefits of those systems, scholars usually underline their capacity:
1) to support communication, sharing, and collaboration;
2) to extend the traditional boundaries of formal institutions allowing hybridization of learning contexts;
3) to widen the access to educational resources thanks to sharing and networking (Manca & Ranieri, 2013; 2016).
However, other social media such as social bookmarking tools, which might have greatest educational interest, have been widely overlooked in scholarly literature (Dennen et al., 2028). The aim of this study is to add a piece of evidence to the debate around the role of social media in higher education by focusing on Diigo, a platform supporting social bookmarking practices, and the learning implications that online tagging may have on the development of learners’ competences. Specifically, the study examines the informational skills of a group of distance students from the School of Psychology. Students were asked to share on Diigo an article on the subject of Media Education. This exercise is based on information problem solving, requiring specific knowledge of the subject topic as well as three further skills: interpretation, action, self-regulation. Indeed, information problem solving is based on open problems and the solution can be undertaken in different ways. Students have to identify an article which is consistent with the theme; they have to share it on Diigo, choose the tags, and write a comment. The materials on Diigo have been analyzed through qualitative methodology, to explore whether information literacy can be a predictor of exam results and whether it promotes meaningful learning.
 Dennen, V. P., Bagdy, L.M., & Cates, M.L. (2018). Effective tagging practices for online learning environments: An exploratory study of approach and accuracy. Online Learning, 22(3).
 Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2013). Is it a tool suitable for learning? A critical review of the literature on Facebook as a technology-enhanced learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29, 487–504.
 Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016). Is Facebook still a suitable technology-enhanced learning environment? An updated critical review of the literature from 2012 to 2015. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32, 503–528.
 Niu, L. (2019). Using Facebook for academic purposes: Current literature and directions for future research. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 56(8) 1384–1406.
 Snelson, C. (2018). Video production in content-area pedagogy: a scoping study of the research literature. Learning, Media and Technology, 43(3), 294-306.
 Tang, Y., & Hew, K. F. (2017). Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time? Computers & Education, 106, 97-118.