Universidad de Cantabria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 6866-6872
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1388
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
At present time, the European Commission recommends promoting technology integration in all education levels to support learning process (Hortigüela-Alcalá et al., 2019). Within these technologies, smartphones are part of the day-to-day of the young people and the social media networks consulted from these mobile devices have grown exponentially in the last decade (Hortigüela-Alcalá et al., 2019). Among the most popular social networks, Instagram is used by millions of people every day, thus having more than 800 millions of users around the world (Hortigüela-Alcalá et al., 2019). After Youtube and Facebook, Instagram is the social network most used in the United States of America where around 75 per cent of people between 18 and 24 years old use it frequently (Al Fadda Hind, 2020). In Spain, in 2019, Instagram reached 16 million users, more than double the amount reported in 2015.

Within this context, Higher Education Institutions are experimenting a renaissance of innovative teaching methods to improve pedagogical process, keeping on collaborative learning environments where students can be more autonomous (Bikanga et al., 2017) and active (Hortigüela Alcalá et al., 2019). In this sense, technology can make it easier to introduce new ways to engage students using resources such as blogs, podcasts, and most recently, social networks (Al-Bahrani and Patel, 2015). Despite their relevance, studies focused on social networks (and in particular, Instagram) and their relationship with learning are still scarce.

In this scenario, we study an experience with the use of the social network Instagram (Ig), as a supplementary tool to formal classes, for promoting learning in a Higher Education context. More precisely, the study is developed within Strategic Management, a subject studied in the 4th course of the Degree of Business Administration of the University of Cantabria (Spain) with a population of 163 students. Along this line, the aim of this research is to know the current use of social media networks at University and previous educational levels, as well as to explore students' opinions about the usefulness of Ig to learn the subject.

The originality of the paper is two fold. On the hand, the paper provides detailed empirical evidence with important implications in relation to enhancing the student learning experience and improving the way to develop the learning process. On the other hand, the paper is focused on Ig, a social network based upon mobile learning adoption within higher education, which is still in its relative infancy in terms of using (Bikanga and Baxter, 2017).

[1] Al-Bahrani, A., Patel, D. 2015. “Incorporating Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in economics classrooms”, The Journal of Economic Education, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 56-67.
[2] Al Fadda Hind, A. 2020. “Determining how social media affects learning English: An investigation of mobile applications Instagram and Snap Chat in TESOL classroom”, Arab World English Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 3-11.
[3] Bikanga Ada, M., Stansfield, M., y Baxter, B. 2017. “Using mobile learning and social media to enhance learner feedback”, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 70-90.
[4] Hortigüela-Alcalá, D., Sánchez-Santamaría, J., Pérez-Pueyo, Á. y Abella-García, V. 2019. “Social networks to promote motivation and learning in higher education from the students´ perspective”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol. 56 No. 4, pp. 412-422.
Instagram, Social networks, Activity learning.