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Click and Connect: Social Media Affordances & their influence on user participation & comment generation in OER repositories (ROER)


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Virginia Power's presentation at GO-GN, Galway, April 2019

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Click and Connect: Social Media Affordances & their influence on user participation & comment generation in OER repositories (ROER)

  1. 1. Click and Connect: Social Media Affordances & their influence on user participation & comment generation in OER repositories (ROER) Research Overview for the GO-GN network Presentation by Virginia Power Lecturer/PhD student in Information Science & Management April 2019
  2. 2. Kigali Wire In the last 50 years with the rapid advance of technology, the advent of cheap global transportation and more recently the birth of the internet and the world wide web, the world has become a more connected, fragmented place. David Gurteen, Conversational Leadership
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  4. 4. Affordances The notion of an 'affordance' was first conceived by James J. Gibson in the late 1970’s. Gibson, a prominent perceptual psychologist, originally used the term to describe "...the actionable properties between the world and an actor [user]” Gibson's definition essentially identifies the powerful relationship between humans and things.
  5. 5. Social Media Affordances (SMA) In human-computer interaction, we cannot rely on this natural relationship. Donald Norman in his book Design of Everyday Things (2013) referred to the affordances found in screen-based interfaces as 'perceived', on the grounds that users form and develop notions of what they can do according to conventions, constraints, and visual, auditory, and sometimes haptic (touch) feedback. Langlois (2014) in turn considers these features as ‘communicational actors’, providing ‘meanings and meaningfulness’.
  6. 6. SMA – research focus According to Bucher and Helmond (2017:12) “….as software produced visual elements on an interface, features such as the favourite and like button say and suggest things. What exactly these features suggest–or afford–is not set once and for all. Clearly these features suggest the action of clicking the button, but they also assign a variety of other possibilities and interpretations.” WHY and HOW a user chooses to interact with these features will inevitably be subject to a diverse range of interpretation, current opinion, expectation and digital or network literacy skills dependent upon the individual within a commonality of purpose.
  7. 7. Research Questions How can the future design and development of OER platforms facilitate participatory practice and support the development of digital and network literacies? Which socio-cultural factors facilitate or inhibit the contribution of user-generated comment within ROER? Which socio-technical factors facilitate or inhibit the contribution of user-generated comment within ROER?
  8. 8. Research Paradigm (Social Constructivist) Ontological Perspective No single reality - knowledge is a social reality, value-laden and it only comes to light through individual interpretation in groups Epistemological Perspective Reality needs to be interpreted to discover the underlying means of events and activities Theoretical Perspective Pragmatist – solving problems; finding out is the means, change is the underlying aim Connectivist Learning Theory – developing the connected/networked community online Homan - Social Exchange Theory Bandura - Self-Efficacy Methodology Mixed methods although priority for qualitative research through participatory action research Method Cultural Probes approach (Research Journal and Screencasts – Think Aloud protocol)
  9. 9. Research Methods – Cultural Probes Cultural probes (or design probes) is a technique used to inspire ideas in a design process. It serves as a means of gathering inspirational data about people's lives, values and thoughts; an opportunity to capture attitudes and social trends. • Users should be given a variety of recording devices – in this research this was a Research Journal (online word document) and screen casting software using Think Aloud protocol • Users were asked to talk about their experiences of ROER as they looked for information • Users were asked to reflect on their experience of each repository in the study • Aim is inspiration not information – seeking to explore beliefs and desires, aesthetic preferences and cultural concerns.
  10. 10. Repository Focus – Rationale Selected to provide access to a variety of social media affordances – in particular those repositories that offered opportunities for free text comments and reviews alongside other SMA Three selected: OER Commons, Open Textbook Library and MERLOT Although not an OER repository, Amazon was also specifically selected as a ‘control’ as likely to be most familiar to participants and exhibiting the widest range of SMA
  11. 11. Research Methods - Tools
  12. 12. Data Collection – an overview • July – September 2017 – Ethics approved and pilot study conducted • October 2017 - Initial call for participants through online mailing lists • November 2017 - Second call for participants • December 2017 - Final call for participants December 2017 • From October to December 2017 - 69 potential participants returned consent forms agreeing to complete • 45 participants submitted all research data at collection close – February 2018 resulting in 65% final response rate
  13. 13. Participants ACA – Participants who described themselves in academic roles DIG – Participants who described themselves in technology/learning development roles LIB – Participants who described themselves in library or information services roles OTH – Participants who described themselves in academic consultant roles ACA – 20% (n=9) DIG – 22% (n=10) LIB – 47% (n=21) OTH – 11% (n=5) Data cleaned in readiness for Nvivo 11/12: • Coding convention established for all participant data – e.g. 001-OTH-F • Redacted personal information • PDF submissions transcribed (4 from each participant – up to an hour in total!)
  14. 14. Coding – Participants Responses Grounded Theory approach
  15. 15. Coding – Participants Responses • Decision taken to use Nvivo 11 for qualitative data analysis (now using Nvivo 12) • Initial training undertaken in February 2018 and refreshed February 2019 • Learning curve but supportive colleagues! • Coding required for both Research Journals and Screencasts • Key source -
  16. 16. Emerging Themes – so far! Motivation/Demotivation – internal, external and personal factors Quality & Trust – source, people, content Repository/Source Valence – good, bad and ugly! Purpose Sense of Community (Social Capital & Habitus - Bourdieu) Reputational Capital Participation Reciprocity Culture Social Media Affordance Frequency (mentions) Comments/Peer Reviews 74 Stars/User Ratings 58 Educational Level 55 Author Information 41 Search Features 37
  17. 17. Initial Motivational Findings 15 27 3 5 25 15 7 21 17 5 15 25 0 15 34 5 16 24 3 16 26 6 27 12 Autonomous Motivation (Intrinsic) Autonomous Motivation (Extrinsic) Autonomous Motivation (Integrated) Controlled Motivation (Introjected) Controlled Motivation (Extrinsic) Demotivation Demotivation This was designed to look at initial reactions to motivational factors NOT engagement at this early stage
  18. 18. Initial Motivational Findings 15 27 3 5 25 15 7 21 17 5 15 25 0 15 34 5 16 24 3 16 26 6 27 12 60% 55% 47% 55% 75% 53% 58% 60% ALL PARTICIPANTS
  19. 19. Research Soundbites “I would contribute if I found a textbook to be particularly useful. A way of contributing to the success of the Open Textbook Library.” Open Textbook Library (ACA) “As a first time user, I didn’t feel the site was easy to navigate, which would make me less likely to find out how to leave a comment.” MERLOT (LIB) “I don’t think my opinion would be very useful to others as I am not a real teachers (sic) with classes and a weekly schedule. I only deliver occasional seminar and recommend books to students. Also I can never remember/be bothered to go back to the website and find the book again to leave a review.” Open Textbook Library (LIB)
  20. 20. Current Data Analysis Stage Interrogation of a priori coding/detail Social Media Affordances Reflective Diary analysis Screencast analysis 45 reflective diaries 180 podcasts Time!
  21. 21. Research – moving forward Activity Outputs Original Planned Date Revised Planned Date Coding of research data 180 transcripts and 45 diaries coded July to December 2018 January to July 2019 Completion of 15 credit module 4,000 words and viva voce January to July 2019 July to September 2019 Establish schedule of draft chapters Agreed schedule with DoS and supervisory team November 2018 May 2019 Thesis draft chapters Regular submissions to DoS and supervisory team January to July 2019 September 2019 to February 2020 Draft thesis produced Draft Thesis for PRa Progress Review at Stage 3 September 2019 May 2020
  22. 22. Sketchnote by Tanmay Vora learning-and-leading-on-social-media/
  23. 23. References Bucher, T. and Helmond, A. (2017) The Affordances of Social Media Platforms. In: Burgess, J., Poell, T. and Marwick, A. eds., (2017) The SAGE Handbook of Social Media. London and New York: Sage Publications Ltd. Charnaz, C. (2014) Constructing Grounded Theory. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Goodell, J. (2014) Open Education Resources (OER) Digital Ecosystem. Available from: digital.html [Accessed 24 March 2019]. Internews: Center for Innovation and Learning (2015) Mapping Information Ecosystems to support Resilience. Available from: ecosystems-support-resilience [Accessed 24 March 2019]. Langlois G. (2014) Social Networking and the Production of the Self. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US. Norman, D. (2013) The Design of Everyday Things. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: The MIT Press.