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Research & Teaching in the Social Media Age

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The talk is given as part of the 2019 Worldviews conference at the panel on "Digital technology’s impact on how media and higher education communicate".

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Research & Teaching in the Social Media Age

  1. 1. Research & Teaching in the Social Media Age Anatoliy Gruzd, PhD Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor Director of Research, Social Media Lab Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada @Gruzd Gruzd@Ryerson.ca
  2. 2. Outline 1. Social media use for scholarly work 2. Social media use for teaching 3. Social media use for informal learning
  3. 3. Should scholarly use of social media be considered towards tenure and/or promotion? Gruzd, A., Staves, K., and Wilk, A. (2011). Tenure and Promotion in the Age of Online Social Media. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Conference. Back in 2010 … https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/meet.2011.14504801154
  4. 4. This is what academics say about Altmetrics on Twitter 9 years later…
  5. 5. How did we get here?
  6. 6. Evolution in Scholarly Communication Channels Letters Emails Mailing lists Social Media
  7. 7. Scholarly Communication: Then and Now Letters of Edwin Gilpin, a mining engineer, government official & author (1850-1907) Tweets of a contemporary scientist in the domain of Earth Sciences (2014) MacDonald, B., Duggan, L., Gruzd, A, & Collins, V., Scientific Communication: Testing Historical & Present-Day Communication Networks with Social Network Analysis. Working paper. (comparable to Gilpin in terms of age, experience, and professional output) 9 months | 1300 letters | people=616 | ties=1277 1 month | 1302 tweets | people=756 | ties=1578
  8. 8. Popular Social Media Sites among Academics Frequent Use Non-academic soc.networks Blogs Online document management Media repositories Wikis Occasional Use Presentation sharing sites Video/tele conference Blog Wikis Academic soc.networks Gruzd, A., & Goertzen, M. (2013). Wired Academia: Why Social Science Scholars Are Using Social Media. The 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS): 3332-3341, DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2013.614
  9. 9. Benefits of Using Social Media 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Discovering new funding Garnering mass media attention Publishing findings Maintaining professional image Soliciting advice from peers Collaborating with other researchers Making new research contacts Promoting current work/research Discovering new ideas or publications Following other researchers' work Keeping up to date with topics Gruzd, A., & Goertzen, M. (2013). Wired Academia: Why Social Science Scholars Are Using Social Media. The 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS): 3332-3341, DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2013.614
  10. 10. Related benefits of social media use based on the factor analysis Social & Info Dissemination Information Gathering Collaboration explains 24% of the total variance explains 16% of the total variance
  11. 11. Who talks about research on social media? • Not just academics! But also • institutions • journalists • librarians • policy makers • other groups
  12. 12. Unexpected Receptor Communities
  13. 13. As more people talk about research online, social ‘signals’ are becoming more valuable for … • Academics – discover what peers are discussing • Institutions & Funders –assess research impact • Publishers - ↑readership, feature most-discussed research, discover popular topics for future calls • ATP Committees – evaluate scholarly output / service- component
  14. 14. Outline 1. Social media use for scholarly work 2. Social media use for teaching 3. Social media use for informal learning
  15. 15. • Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University • Caroline Haythornthwaite, Syracuse University • Marc Esteve del Valle, University of Groningen • Drew Paulin, University of California Berkeley • Sarah Gilbert, University of British Columbia Social Media in Educational Practice: Faculty Use of Social Media in Teaching Gruzd, A., Haythornthwaite, C., Paulin, D., Gilbert, S., & Valle, M. E. del. (2018). Uses and Gratifications factors for social media use in teaching: Instructors’ perspectives. New Media & Society, 20(2), 475– 494. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444816662933 [Pre-print Open Access]
  16. 16. We wanted to know How are social media (SM) used in higher education teaching? 1. Which media are used? 2. What teaching purpose motivates use of SM? 3. What facilitates or inhibits SM use in teaching? 19
  17. 17. Methodology • Questionnaire to instructors in higher education. Open online from March 2014 to Feb 2015. Asked about use of a wide variety of SM both for general use and in teaching. • Participants: n=333; 60% female; 50% age 25- 40; primarily English speaking countries; more than 50% taught 11 or more courses Respondents
  18. 18. Which social media tools are used, and which in teaching?
  19. 19. What is the most useful social media tool for teaching? 24 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
  20. 20. What teaching purpose motivates use of SM? • Open ended responses on how the social media tool(s) were used in teaching • Coded to identify the range of uses • Factor analysis conducted to identify trends in use 25
  21. 21. 27 Factor Name Items loading on the factor % variance explained Theoretical support 1 Facilitating Engagement Organizing by students; Peer interaction; Sharing by students; Reflective learning 12.63 Promoting collaboration, learning with others, greater reflection 2 Organization for Teaching Organizing by/for instructor; Sharing by instructor; Discussion 10.89 Other 3 Reaching Outside Reaching outside learning by practice 10.10 Exposing students to practices 4 Enhancing Student Learning Supporting collaboration among students; Reflective learning 8.97 Promoting collaboration 5 Building a Community of Practice Fostering communities 8.48 Promoting collaboration 6 Discovery [caveat: few cases] Discovery by instructors; Discovery by students 8.48 Extending the learning environment Factor Analysis
  22. 22. Barriers to use of SM in teaching 28 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Ability Time Ethics Support Tool “It is designed for selling entertainment content” “IT bureaucracy” “Too many requirements on students” “Adds to an already heavy workload for me” “Different levels in students' technology skills”
  23. 23. Summary • Faculty who use SM in teaching o Are early SM adopters who experiment with a wide variety of media • Reasons for using SM in teaching o Promoting collaborative learning and reflection o Exposing students to practices o Organization for teaching emerges as an important factor • Adoption process o Faculty first consume content via SM, then move to contributing before actively selecting SM to support their teaching o Faculty with greater professional understanding of teaching practice (age and experience) are more likely to use SM in teaching, despite awareness of barriers 32
  24. 24. Outline 1. Social media use for scholarly work 2. Social media use for teaching 3. Social media use for informal learning
  25. 25. Social Media for Informal Learning: a Case of #Twitterstorians Priya Kumar Anatoliy Gruzd Kumar, P., & Gruzd, A. (2019, January). Social Media for Informal Learning: a Case of #Twitterstorians. In Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
  26. 26. Using the case of #twitterstorians, we wanted to know: 1. How are social media sites used in informal learning? 2. How are people engaging in informal learning on Twitter? 3. What are the different types of exploratory dialogue and behaviours that occur through the #twitterstorians hashtag? 4. Does Twitter facilitate different types of information and communication exchanges and discursive practices than Reddit? http://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/pubs-and-publications/2015/07/13/twitterstorians/ #Twitterstorians 35@Gruzd
  27. 27. Introducing #twitterstorians • Hashtag created in September 2007 by historian and blogger Katrina Gulliver • People can use the #twitterstorians hashtag to: • share resources and information • learn about new work and research tools • connect with other academic researchers, teachers, and students #Twitterstorians 36@Gruzd
  28. 28. Data Collection June 20 – July 20 2017 17,391 unique tweets 6,349 tweets (-RTs) 634 tweets Focus of Analysis (10% sample) Daily Posting Frequency #Twitterstorians 37@Gruzd
  29. 29. Analytic Framework: Discourse Analysis Exploratory Dialogue Schema from Ferguson et al. (2013) #Twitterstorians 38 Cue Phrase Linguistic Dialogue Example Critiques ‘However’, ‘I’m not sure’, ‘maybe’ Discussion of Resource ‘Have you read, ‘more links’ Evaluations ‘Good Example’, ‘good point’ Explanations ‘Means that’, ‘our goals’ Explicit Reasoning ‘Next step’, ‘relates to’, ‘that’s why’ Justifications ‘I mean’, ‘we learned’, ‘we observed’ Others’ Perspectives ‘Agree’, ‘here is another’ @Gruzd
  30. 30. Our ‘Learning in the Wild’ Coding Schema Code Definition 1. Explanation with Disagreement Expresses a NEGATIVE take on the content of the previous posts by adding new ideas or facts to discussion thread. 2. Explanation with Agreement Expresses a POSITIVE take on the content of the previous posts by adding new ideas or facts to discussion thread. 3. Explanation with Neutral Presentation Expresses a NEUTRAL explanation/judgment/reasoning/etc. with neither negative nor positive reference to the content of the previous posts, nor necessarily any reference to previous posts. 4. Socializing with Negative Intent Socializing that expresses negative affect through tone, words, insults, expletives intended as abusive. 5. Socializing with Positive Intent Socializing that expresses positive affect tone, praise, humor, irony intended in a positive way. 6. Information Seeking Postings asking questions or soliciting opinions, resources, etc. (‘Does anyone know …?’ ‘How does this work?’). This does not include questions answered rhetorically within the post, e.g., if a question is asked and answered. 7. Providing Resources Postings that include direct reference to a URL, book, article, etc.; postings that call upon a well-known theory or the name of a well-known figure. 8. Rules and Norms Postings on topics such as what is the appropriate for a particular discussion, hashtagging conversations, discussing what language is appropriate to use, how to back up claims by using resources, etc. #Twitterstorians 39@Gruzd
  31. 31. Example: Code 1 – Explanation with Disagreement #Twitterstorians 40 Definition Linguistic Dialogue Example Expresses a NEGATIVE take on the content of the previous posts by adding new ideas or facts to discussion thread. ‘But’, ‘I disagree’, ‘not sure’, ‘not exactly’ with explanation/ judgment/ reasoning/ etc. @Gruzd
  32. 32. Code 5 – Socializing w/ Positive Intent #Twitterstorians 44 Definition Linguistic Dialogue Example Socializing that expresses positive affect tone, words, praise, humor, irony intended in a positive way. ‘thanks’, ‘great feedback’, ‘you’re correct’ @Gruzd
  33. 33. Code 6 – Information Seeking #Twitterstorians 45 Definition Linguistic Dialogue Example Postings asking questions or soliciting opinions, resources, etc. (‘Does anyone know …?’ ‘How does this work?’). This does not include questions answered rhetorically within the post, e.g., if a question is asked and answered. ‘does anyone know’, ‘can anyone explain’ @Gruzd
  34. 34. Code 7 – Providing Resources #Twitterstorians 46 Definition Linguistic Dialogue Example Postings that include direct reference to a URL, book, article, etc.; postings that call upon a well- known theory or the name of a well-known figure. Link to resource copied to post (book, URL, article, audio/video file). Referencing theory/theorists, scholar or public work (Einstein, Newton, Freud). @Gruzd
  35. 35. RQ1: What types of information and communication exchanges and discursive practices present on Twitter? 48 0% 1% 1% 4% 12% 17% 17% 38% Socializing Negative Intent Explanation with Disagreement Explanation with Agreement Norms and Rules Explanation with Neutral Presentation Socializing Positive Intent Information Seeking Providing Resources % of tweets based on 10% sample | n=634
  36. 36. RQ2: Does Twitter facilitate different types of information and communication exchanges and discursive practices than Reddit? Twitter #twitterstorians Reddit r/AskHistorians/
  37. 37. RQ2: Does Twitter facilitate different types of information and communication exchanges and discursive practices than Reddit? 50 0% 1% 1% 4% 12% 17% 17% 38% 0% 6% 4% 5% 48% 17% 22% 21% Socializing Negative Intent Explanation with Disagreement Explanation with Agreement Norms and Rules Explanation with Neutral Presentation Socializing Positive Intent Information Seeking Providing Resources Reddit Twitter
  38. 38. Current work • Apply machine learning techniques to automate the coding process • Extend to other social media datasets (YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) • Apply learning analytics to study formal & informal learning with Twitter in order to offer insights to instructors and students #Twitterstorians 51@Gruzd
  39. 39. How do we make sense of the vast amount of data generated by learners, especially in the “wild”? • “Learning analytics is concerned with collecting data from learners’ actions, developing techniques to analyze these data, and making the results useful to practitioners” (Long & Siemens, 2011). • Learning analytics focuses on making sense of “big data” collected from learning management systems (LMS), MOOCs and social media. @Gruzd 52
  40. 40. A REAL-TIME DASHBOARD FOR LEARNING ABOUT LEARNERS https://dashboard.socialmediadata.org/educhat Contact: info@socialmedialab.ca
  41. 41. Research & Teaching in the Social Media Age Anatoliy Gruzd, PhD Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor Director of Research, Social Media Lab Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada @Gruzd Gruzd@Ryerson.ca
  42. 42. References • Grier, C., Thomas, K., Paxson, V., & Zhang, M. (2010). @spam: the underground on 140 characters or less (p. 27). ACM Press. http://doi.org/10.1145/1866307.1866311 • Gruzd, A., Black, F.A., Le, Y., Amos, K. (2012). Investigating Biomedical Research Literature in the Blogosphere: A Case Study of Diabetes and HbA1c. Journal of the Medical Library Association 100(1): 34-42. DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.100.1.007 • Gruzd, A., Staves, K., and Wilk, A. (2011). Tenure and Promotion in the Age of Online Social Media. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Conference. • Gurajala, S., White, J. S., Hudson, B., Voter, B. R., & Matthews, J. N. (2016). Profile characteristics of fake Twitter accounts. Big Data & Society, 3(2), 2053951716674236. • Hassan, S. U., Imran, M., Gillani, U., Aljohani, N. R., Bowman, T. D., & Didegah, F. (2017). Measuring social media activity of scientific literature: an exhaustive comparison of scopus and novel altmetrics big data. Scientometrics, 1-21. • Kumar, P., Gruzd, A., Haythornthwaite, C., Gilbert, S., Esteve Del Valle, M., Paulin, D. (2018). Social Media in Educational Practice: Faculty Present and Future Use of Social Media in Teaching. In Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. • MacDonald, B., Duggan, L., Gruzd, A, & Collins, V., Scientific Communication: Testing Historical & Present-Day Communication Networks with Social Network Analysis. Working paper. • Melero, R. (2015). Altmetrics–a complement to conventional metrics. Biochemia medica, 25(2), 152-160. • Sugimoto, C. R., Work, S., Larivière, V., & Haustein, S. (2017). Scholarly use of social media and altmetrics: a review of the literature. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(9), 2037-2062. • Varol, O., Ferrara, E., Davis, C. A., Menczer, F., & Flammini, A. (2017). Online human-bot interactions: Detection, estimation, and characterization. arXiv preprint arXiv:1703.03107. • Wang, A. H. (2010). Don’t follow me: Spam detection in Twitter. In Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Security and Cryptography (SECRYPT) (pp. 1–10). IEEE.
  43. 43. References • Gruzd, A., Haythornthwaite, C., Paulin, D., Gilbert, S., & Esteve del Valle, M. (2016). Uses and gratifications factors for social media use in teaching: Instructors’ perspectives. New Media and Society. http://nms.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/08/1461444816662933.abstract • Esteve del Valle, M., Gruzd, A., Haythornthwaite, C., Gilbert, S. & Paulin, D. (2017). Social media in educational practice: Faculty present and future use of social media in teaching. HICSS. Big Island, HI. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society • Haythornthwaite, C. & Andrews, R. (2011). E-learning Theory and Practice. London: Sage. • Andrews, R. & Haythornthwaite, C. (Eds.) (2007). Handbook of E-Learning Research. London: Sage. • Haythornthwaite, C., Andrews, R., Fransman, J. & Meyers, E. (Eds.) (2016). Handbook of E-Learning Research, 2nd edition. London: SAGE. 56

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