Exploring the Use of Social Networking In the College Classroom


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A presentation at the 2010 SITE International Conference, San Diego, CA, March 31, 2010

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Exploring the Use of Social Networking In the College Classroom

  1. 1. Hsiu-Ting Hung, Ph.D. National Kaohsiung First University of Science & Technology hhung@ccms.nkfust.edu.tw Steve C. Yuen, Ph.D. The University of Southern Mississippi Steve.Yuen@usm.edu SITE 2010 International Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, March 31, 2010
  2. 2. In recent years…  Evolution of the social web  Explosion of social media and social p networking sites (SNSs)  Explication of the social nature of learning The use of social networking can be geared toward promoting effective learning -- proposed by many researchers (Maloney, 2007; Drexler et al. 2008; Barbour & Plough, 2009)
  3. 3. Social Learning
  4. 4.  Best explained by situated learning theory which is rooted in Vygotskian perspectives on learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991)  People learn from one another, via observation, imitation, imitation and modeling. The theory has often been modeling called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, memory and motivation (Albert Bandura 1977) Bandura,  Shift the view of learning from a cognitive process to a process of participation in the social world  Learning emerges from engagement in social interaction  Focus on the learning that occurs within a social context. context It considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling.
  5. 5. Community of Practice
  6. 6.  A framework of social participation. People generally are involved in a number of communities of practice.  Groups of people who share a passion and learn how to do it better as they interact. y  “Engagement in social practice is the fundamental principle by which we learn and so become who we are” (Wenger, 1998, p 45) ( g p. )  Many researchers are finding that social networking is at the heart of community of practice (e.g., Rovai, 2002; Mason & Rennie, 2007)  The success of classroom communities rest on how f well learners are socially connected and perceive the value of such social bonds in their classroom communities of practice. iti f ti
  7. 7.  Toexplore why and how social networking can be implemented to promote community of practice in the college classroom  Research Questions:  What are students’ experiences with and views on the use of SNSs in the courses under investigation? g  What is the impact of using SNSs to supplement face-to-face courses on students’ perceived sense of classroom community? f l it ?
  8. 8.  Designed and taught 3 courses that involved the use of a private social network at 2 public universities in Taiwan during the spring semester of 2009  Taught by either one of the researchers CConducted a student survey th t contained 3 d t d t d t that t i d sections: • Learner characteristics • Learner’s perceptions on social networking • Rovai’s (2002) Classroom Community Scale Rovai s
  9. 9. A social networking site for each course was created individually using Ning  Identical functionality for the class social networks  Accessible to class members only y  Used to supplement the regular face-to- face courses  Allowed students to: create their own profiles; share photos, audio, podcasts, and videos; j i and i iti t di id join d initiate discussions, etc. i t
  10. 10. # of Participants Course Name Course Info (n=44) Introduction to Undergraduate Information & level, 3 –credit Course A 25 Communications elective course Technology Foreign Language Master’s level, 3- Teaching credit elective 7 Course B Methodology course Seminar in Doctoral level, 3- Course C Educational credit elective 12 Technology course
  11. 11.  Thestudents’ responses appear to students suggest that the information-sharing feature of social media greatly enhanced students’ learning experiences.  Asone participant noted, “I not only enjoyed being able to share anything of my interest (such as, music, photos, and videos) with my classmates but also appreciated the things shared by others. others ”
  12. 12.  Thestudents’ opinions about increased sense of classroom community illustrate the social nature of learning, made possible by the social networking affordance of Ning Ning.  Asone participant pointed out “I found out, I myself more engaged in this learning network than other e-learning platforms e learning used in my former courses because the class members had more interactional opportunities for sharing personal interests and exchanging learning resources in g g g addition to discussing course-related content.”
  13. 13.  Whilesocial media has been sporadically used to facilitate informal and professional learning, the findings extend the learning value of social networking technology to the context of higher education.  Asa supplementary learning tool, social networking technology media has a positive impact on enhancing students’ sense of classroom community and engaging them i l i d i h in the classroom community of practice.
  14. 14. Questions or Comments?