About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4554-4560
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

DO SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS REALLY PROMOTE AND ENHANCE STUDENT COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTEDNESS IN ONLINE COURSES?

W. Nembhard, S. Lopez, M. Nash

University of South Florida (UNITED STATES)
Although online courses in higher education are still relatively new, they have become widespread and are rapidly increasing as course offerings in academic institutions in developed and developing countries. Research has documented several advantages to the online learning environment but has also found that a potential disadvantage is that some students enrolled in online courses feel isolated and disconnected from the instructor and other classmates. Social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter are encouraged for use in higher education courses to foster better communication and connectedness among students. We pilot tested the use of social media in a graduate online course at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. Our objective was to determine the tools and methods student’s preferred for communication and their perceptions of how those tools promote connectedness in the online environment. We assessed student’s preferences and perceptions of social media and traditional tools for communication and connectedness in the online course in three ways: 1) utilization of social media tools offered in the course, 2) a 13-item electronic student survey, and 3) communication settings selected by students in the learning management system. In this presentation we describe our experiences using social media tools in a graduate course, student perceptions and satisfaction with social media tools in the academic environment. Overall, student utilization of social media tools in the online course was extremely low. We found that students felt that social media tools did not promote better communication or feelings of connectedness than more traditional methods in academic settings. Students also preferred more traditional methods of communicating with classmates and the instructor and felt that social media tools did not enhance their learning in the online environment. Student satisfaction and utilization of social media tools appears to vary and instructors designing online courses should offer a variety of choices for communication and tools to enhance connectedness in their online courses.
@InProceedings{NEMBHARD2012DOS,
author = {Nembhard, W. and Lopez, S. and Nash, M.},
title = {DO SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS REALLY PROMOTE AND ENHANCE STUDENT COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTEDNESS IN ONLINE COURSES?},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {4554-4560}}
TY - CONF
AU - W. Nembhard AU - S. Lopez AU - M. Nash
TI - DO SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS REALLY PROMOTE AND ENHANCE STUDENT COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTEDNESS IN ONLINE COURSES?
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 4554
EP - 4560
ER -
W. Nembhard, S. Lopez, M. Nash (2012) DO SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS REALLY PROMOTE AND ENHANCE STUDENT COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTEDNESS IN ONLINE COURSES?, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 4554-4560.
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