GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING AN EFFECTIVE ROLE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA IN E-LEARNING ENHANCEMENT
Middlesex University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:As humans we intrinsically are social animals and have a deep desire to connect with one another in social settings. Social media provide exciting platforms in which to develop learning environments that can create enhanced learning experiences for students. Research shows that the use of social media in learning has positive impact on student’s achievement. Social media as a communication channel explores the possibilities of collaborative learning environments through high levels of engagement. Participation and sharing of ideas through digital media in and out of classroom strengthens communication skills and creates knowledge transfer. Learning and teaching process has been positively enhanced through fostered digital learning network of collaborators.
This paper describes on-going research in the role of social media in enhancing learning experiences through activity based learning and computed supported cooperative learning. The paper discusses findings from a series of pilots over a period of four years, with emphasis on supporting a range of learning activities by using social media functionality.
This study suggests that students who utilise social media alongside their coursework demonstrate improved grades when compared with non-connected classmates. Student’s thoughtful reflection on learning content, peer feedback and the open communication afforded by social networks underpins robust peer relationships. Through the use of social media in the learning process, students are allowed to create and share newly acquired ideas and ways of working. Studies have provided some data on general approaches to using social media in educational context. However social media’s use in education is still in its infancy and has not been fully utilised as evidence for its research and practice is still lacking.
This study suggests that using guidelines for improved integration of social media enhances the efficiency of the teaching and learning process. Facebook still as the favourable social media offers abundance of potential at improving and accelerating informal learning. Nevertheless efficient integration of social networks such as Face book as an informal e-learning platform necessitates close supervision alongside sets of rules and procedures for course delivery. This paper is aimed at evaluating appropriate guidelines in progressive integration of Face book as an informal social learning network. The paper discusses how the analysis of the student interaction through Facebook features can be used for assessing learning experiences, individual performance and success criteria for group work. The authors’ objective is to propose a series of guidelines for effective use of specific social media platforms for supporting e-learning.
Keywords: Social media, e-learning, Computer Supported Cooperative Learning.