University of Phoenix (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 5106-5114
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
To support learning of emergent social and professional networking skills in an online e-business course, the author has developed a curriculum innovation that provides an authentic and collaborative learning experience to complement existing curriculum.

The author describes his review of research literature into social networking, situated cognition, socially-shared cognition, collaborative learning, authentic learning, and generational characterizations such as millennial learners and digital natives in the context of online instruction and e-business activities.

A description follows of how these research findings have been initially applied for the author’s online course in e-business as the basis for subsequent action research focusing on usability of these techniques within an online learning environment.

The course design innovation achieves a two-fold purpose in its learning objectives. Online social networking is introduced early in the course and sustained throughout the semester to enhance collaborative learning among peers, especially those whose preferences and needs are addressed through the enhanced use of collaborative activities using social networking sites, software, and techniques.

Social networking activities are also introduced to support the initial building of knowledge and skills in the context of e-business operational strategies, such as in generating new business, customer prospecting, establishing trust, and building working relationships.

Social networking sites and activities include blogging on hosted blogging services, micro-blogging on, professional networking on, social networking on, social bookmarking on, and social posting on Mobile communication techniques are also introduced in the context of online learning and e-business strategies.

The instructional strategy of this innovation is described in terms of a cognitive apprenticeship model in which social networking is modeled and the scope of related activities are scaffolded and supported through individualized coaching which is later receded to allow for initial expertise to build from the reciprocal sharing of knowledge among learning peers in a social networking environment.

This curriculum innovation is also elaborated in terms of how online teachers can situate social networking sites and strategies in online courses across many subject areas.

The paper concludes with a proposal for subsequent user experience evaluation that is deemed appropriate to the early adoption stage of this curriculum innovation.
Curriculum innovation, social networking, professional networking, authentic learning, collaborative learning, millennial learners, digital natives, e-business.