Designing Social Media for Learning


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  • how many of you use social media in your personal life? How many use for work and professional development?
  • There are over 30 definitions of social media. It scales well, gaining strengths from large numbers, bottom-up control rather than top-down.
  • In Canada, just about any organizations and companies have some sort of presence on social media. As a nation, we are highly connected and fairly social online.
  • The average social media user age is 37 years old. 55+ is the fastest growing group.
  • How does it help education? Level the playing field, costs nothing (well, almost!) and it has a broader/different reach. We can talk to each other directly - huge for virtual workplace, distance learning. How does it help education? Level the playing field, costs nothing (well, almost!) and it has a broader/different reach. We can talk to each other directly - huge for virtual workplace, distance learning.
  • yammer is our internal social networking site, a private facebook site if you will. Jam is our social learning site.
  • not a huge uptake - not officially supported, it has grown organically, not fully understand what it is for, people are careful to post only work-related comments. We have just reached 1000 users.
  • hard to design (need to link it back to specific modules), hard to measure
  • The first three are public tools, the last one is an in-house tools we are developing. The in-house tool is more suited for teaching and learning purposes.
  • Official fanpage. We have admins from across the university who monitor activity, and one staff in recruitment actively answers questions and posts articles. 
  • I particularly like this feature. Again, it suits our purpose since we have students from all around the world who are interested in our courses/programs.
  • 2189 users. Hard to convince faculty to use it, students are using it more as private study groups. Hard to measure. Not officially connected to actual courses. Hard to link theory with practice.
  • 271 groups, 29% grad courses, 16% undergrad, 24% admin.
  • Most activities are social - the way we currently design e-learning doesn’t take that into consideration
  • had 160,000 students signed up. Two-thirds from outside the US.
  • Include members to share/connect, allow self-organization and control (open vs. closed groups)
  • “ Impression to create simplicity even in the most complex applications” - Jon Meada Encourage experimentation
  • Designing Social Media for Learning

    1. 1. Design and Application ofSocial Media for LearningCSTD Calgary - June 6, 2012Photo credit: LeeBlended Learning Leader, Global Learning TeamGolder Associates, Inc., CanadaiCore Researcher, SCIS, Athabasca University
    2. 2. Tonight’s outline• Social Media Trends and Usage• Implications for Learning• Learning Design for Social Media•Q&A
    3. 3. What is Social Media?Photo credit:
    4. 4. Wikipedia’s definitionSocial media includes web-based and mobilebased technologies which are used to turncommunication into interactive dialogue amongorganizations, communities, and individuals.
    5. 5. Two ways of looking at it... • systems - e.g. Flickr, YouTube, • technological approaches - e.g. collaborative filtering, recommender, shared tagging
    6. 6. Social Media Trends and UsagePhoto credit:
    7. 7. Social media trends and usage• Canada has the world’s highest social networking penetration - 49.3% (2011)• 47% of Canadians use Twitter (18% of all Twitter accounts)• 58% have blogs
    8. 8. • In 2011, 50% of online Canadians visited a social media site at least once a week• 35% visited every day• 18-34 years old heaviest users• daily access to email declined 28%
    9. 9. suc: c m c r’s ee b r 0 1rp r o re o soe D cm e 2 1 e ot :ht:/ w .c m c r.c mPes vns rsna n_W it a es 0 1it _a o ia ol o _1 _n e - oko s b u_sc l ewrin t / w o soe o /rs_E e t Pee t io s he p r 2 1 /_is _sc l r _tp 0 edt- n w_a o t o ia tok g p w / t p / _w d _n
    10. 10. Implications for Learningphoto credit:
    11. 11. Formal learning - classes andonline workshops and events, isthe source of only 10% to 20%of what we learn at work - Jay Cross
    12. 12. Social media is everywhere...• marketing and communication• learning and development/teaching and learning• professional development• research
    13. 13. PhD Chat
    14. 14. A “DIY” model• A lot more amateurish effort (Shirky, 2008)• It is scattered all over, many overlapping effort• It is organic/self-organizing• A sub-culture movement (not officially supported by institutions)
    15. 15. Some social media usage atGolder Associates• Yammer• Facebook• Twitter• Jam
    16. 16. Yammer - private social network
    17. 17. Jam - social learning
    18. 18. Some social media usage atAthabasca University• Flickr• Facebook• Twitter• the Landing
    19. 19. Facebook
    20. 20. AskAU
    21. 21. The Landing
    22. 22. Group feature in the Landing
    23. 23. Learning Design for Social MediaPhoto credit:
    24. 24. FIVE design principles• Balancing LX and UX• Scalability/evolvability3. Allow rooms for both producers and spectators• Multiple ways to share/link/connect• The power of “undo”
    25. 25. Learner Experience (LX)• measures learner perception and satisfaction with content/learning activities• actual learning, measured via tests
    26. 26. User Experience (UX )• Can be specified and measured: • 95% of first-time learners locate the course syllabus for COMP201 in Blackboard within two minutes without technical support • 90% of the users clicked on the Twitter link embedded in the course website • Students completing Intro to Philosophy course gives the course Facebook website an average of 4.0 rating on a five-point Likert scale for ease of use
    27. 27. Balancing LX and UX suc: D v S u es o re aid m l r d ht:/ l rm g c .ogin e.c ? t /e n a .am r/ d x f p ea m sc n et rc e&r l 11 et =b s at s at e - io _p ic ic =1
    28. 28. Scalability/Evolvability•v
    29. 29. Multiple ways to share/link/connect
    30. 30. The power of “undo”
    31. 31. The illiterate of the 21stCentury will not be those whocannot read or write, but thosewho cannot learn, unlearn andrelearn - Alvin Toffler
    32. 32. Questions? Comments? Ideas?photo credit:
    33. 33. Thank you!Email:, stellaylee@gmail.comTwitter: @stellalSlideshare: