About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8834-8842
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0631

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

DECLUTTERING THE CONVERSATION: MOVING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS TO DEVELOP MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH BESPOKE TEAM ENGAGEMENT

S. Robertson

Edinburgh Napier University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Background:
The introduction of social media into Higher Education has changed the dynamic of learning and teaching for students and staff through increased co-operation and interaction outside the traditional classroom setting despite the perceived difficulties in the collision of the social and academic worlds of students.

Facebook (FB) has been used as a supplementary tool to the University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in a large undergraduate business module since February 2012 to encourage questions and peer support beyond the classroom. The suggestion of a class Facebook page came from the students as the VLE lacked the interaction tools that they were used to, e.g. the ability to ‘like’ a post. A closed group was created by the course leader to give some privacy to the discussion and since has become an integral part of the class with over 1200 members as many students remain community members after graduation. This does mean that the conversation is not always restricted to the current cohort of students which can clutter the conversation. A discussion forum is still active within the VLE and this is restricted to students in the current cohort through class registration.

In February 2018 a bespoke team engagement app was trialed with the current cohort of students to assess the impact moving from a primarily social environment to a more professional one. Could the benefits of interaction outside the classroom be retained, and potentially enhanced, whilst reducing the social/academic conflict?

Methods:
The app was introduced in Week 4 of the term, first to a small group of engaged students before a full-cohort roll out. Data was collected at the end of term using an anonymous online questionnaire. Similar surveys have been carried out over 5 years so that longitudinal data of FB and VLE usage can be compared to the current cohort.

A 30% response rate was achieved by posting the survey link on each of the platforms. The limitations of a self-selecting survey were recognized but issues with the alternatives were deemed more problematic. Full cohort logs are available from the VLE and data was provided by the app vendor but as this is anonymous no direct link could be established between individual students. The FB data available is from a much large cohort which would likely skew analysis further.

Results:
83% of students from this cohort installed the app compared to 98% who joined FB (c.f. 94% membership over 5 years) and 85% who used the VLE forum (80% over 5 years). Those students who installed the app tended to be those who were more active on the other platforms. The one student who did not join the FB group did install the app and found it useful to form wider connections outside the class.
18% of students posted on the app several times although 60% of users found use in reader the posts of others which is consistent with previous research into online tools for students. 4% of students who installed the app did not find it useful.
The app allows users to award ‘kudos’ to colleagues and 30% of users found this useful beyond simply ‘liking’ posts.
60% of users stated an intention to remain active on the app compared with 10% who have already decided to remove the app.
As the initial findings from the trial are positive the class leader intends to continue use of the app with the next cohort and give direction into how the tool should be used to encourage greater engagement between students.
@InProceedings{ROBERTSON2018DEC,
author = {Robertson, S.},
title = {DECLUTTERING THE CONVERSATION: MOVING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS TO DEVELOP MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH BESPOKE TEAM ENGAGEMENT},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0631},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0631},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8834-8842}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Robertson
TI - DECLUTTERING THE CONVERSATION: MOVING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS TO DEVELOP MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH BESPOKE TEAM ENGAGEMENT
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0631
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 8834
EP - 8842
ER -
S. Robertson (2018) DECLUTTERING THE CONVERSATION: MOVING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS TO DEVELOP MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH BESPOKE TEAM ENGAGEMENT, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 8834-8842.
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