A Characterization of Social Networks for Effective Communication and Collaboration in Computing Education

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  • 1. http://mlearning.muohio.edu/mlc Twitter: @miami_mlearning A Characterization of Social Networks for EffectiveCommunication and Collaboration in Computing Education
  • 2. Introduction• Social networks (SN) are extremely popular – Twitter, Facebook, G+ boast millions of users http://ex.pn/LExZsy• Gaining use in the workplace – P&G, Best Buy, Deloitte, Dow Chemical, IBM, SAP, Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Eli Lilly… 2
  • 3. Contributions• Identify common modes of communication in social networks• Characterize how these modes can be used in an education setting• Suggest how different genres of communication can be aided by social networks 3
  • 4. Social Networks• In the workplace • In education – DiMicco et al. indicate – Junco et al. found an that SN used to increase in strengthen “weak ties” engagement when at IBM Twitter used for – Asunda argues SN discussions, etc. improve networking, – Ellison et al. found collaboration, students used SN to information sharing, maintain “bridging” etc. social capital (e.g., strengthening weak 4 ties)
  • 5. Our Experience• Goals – Increase engagement between stakeholders of the course • Student/Faculty, Student/Student, Student/Customer – Decrease e-mail usage  Decrease repetition – Support inverted (i.e., flipped) classroom• Google Plus used for this work – Used Twitter and Facebook in the past 5
  • 6. Social Network Features• Status updates • Video• Commenting Teleconferencing• Positive • IM Support Reinforcement • Document Support• Social Tagging • Video Support• Linking • Recipient Filtering 6
  • 7. 7
  • 8. Uses• Status Updates as Broadcasts – Reminders – Assignment announcements – Commentaries and hints – Content sharing 8
  • 9. Uses• Questions, Answers, and Comments – Ask First – Search First – Consult (SN) First• Ideal case: students address questions by consulting the SN first and discussing issues with colleagues 9
  • 10. Social Networks and Communication Genres• Situational Learning • Several modes of • Effective communication in SN communication occurs fall within workplace within context scenarios• Carter et al. – genres of software engineering – Workplace scenarios 10
  • 11. Example: Requirements 11
  • 12. Observations• Students familiar with the technology• Potential for cheating• Students adept at writing short, well- articulated messages benefitted the most• Engaged participants derived more utility than disengaged 12
  • 13. Recommendations• If you plan on using social media – Establish guidelines for using social media • In what ways are the different modes going to be used? – Define an acceptable use policy • What are is allowed and what is not allowed – Model desired behavior and usage • Be an active participant within the social network 13
  • 14. Future Work• Formally study engagement and achievement – Ask, Search, Consult behaviors and performance• Weak ties/Social capital versus Engagement when social network is integrated into course activities 14