International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments (9 papers in press)
Using Community Mediated Learning Tools for Informal Learning Online
by Jenny Eppard
Abstract: Individuals are using the Internet in increasing numbers to engage in informal learning either alone or in a group. This study aims to determine which types of learning tools participants used in a specific online community to negotiate possible learning. The scope of this study was not to determine if learning occurred but to provide insight into the tools used in an online community that encompassed characteristics of learning.The methodology was a qualitative case study including detached observations,participant observations, interviews and document analysis. The study found that there were two types of learning tools used on the blog cognitive (discourse, action, reflectionand checking for accuracy) and physical (text, videos, images and links).
Keywords: social media; informal learning; Activity Theory; artifacts; learning tools.
Students Perspectives on RateMyProfessors.com: An Empirical Investigation of Perception and Attitude
by Kuan-Pin Chiang
Abstract: Since its inception in 1999, the website of RateMyProfessors.com has been popular and has gathered more than 15 million ratings of approximate 1.5 million professors from more than 7000 schools. It provides college students opportunities to rate and comment on their instructors and helps them with course selection. The purpose of this study was to investigate college student perception and attitude toward this website. We analyzed survey data from 166 undergraduate students. Our findings suggest that overall students have positive experiences and find RMP as a reliable source of information for course selection. About 25% of participants who have posted ratings have stronger positive attitude toward the website and higher tendency to check the website before registering classes.
Keywords: Student Evaluations; Faculty Evaluations; RateMyProfessor; Faculty Ratings; Attitude; Perception.
Motivations for Using Social Media: Comparative Study Based on Cultural Differences between American and Jordanian Students
by Heba Alquraan, Emad Abu-Shanab, Shadi Banitaan, Heyam Al-Tarawneh
Abstract: Social network sites (SNSs) have gained popularity over the last decade. Students use SNSs according to their personal differences, which are influenced by cultural and demographic factors. This paper proposed a model that included four basic factors that act as predictors of continuous use of SNSs. The factors are personal, social, educational and entertainment. The first objective of this study is to investigate the influence of the predictors on the dependent variable. Results indicated a full support of our proposed model, with an R2 = 0.296. The second objective is to explore the differences between US and Jordanian students. An ANOVA test was conducted and results yielded significant cultural differences and stronger than gender differences. The test yielded 17 significant differences compared to 10 based on gender. This research calls for more research that tries to explore what cultural factors cause such differences.
Keywords: social networks; continuous use of SNs; Jordan; USA; cultural differences; comparative study.
Social Media Adoption in Higher Education: A case study involving IT/IS Students
by Kerstin Siakas, Pekka Makkonen, Errikos Siakas, Elli Georgiadou, Harjinder Rahanu
Abstract: This paper discusses the adoption and use of social media in Higher Education (HE). The aim of the research reported in this paper was to identify the main factors and problem areas in the adoption and use of social media in HE. Our study included a survey involving students of Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) in Greece and in Finland. In order to verify the findings from the survey a follow-up survey was also undertaken. The Unified Technology Adoption approach was identified to be a suitable underlying theory for this study. The analysis of viewpoints of students was needed in order to understand converging and diverging viewpoints. The results showed that infrastructure is the most important issue in the planning of learning/teaching activities based on social media, followed by the role of social influence. Based on the analysis guidelines for planning social-media-based learning activities are proposed. Indications of further work complete the paper.
Keywords: social media adoption; social media in Higher Education; social network sites.
Affordances of Twitter as a pedagogical tool in education: Critical analysis of doctoral research studies
by Myint Swe Khine
Abstract: Twitter as a microblogging platform often used to communicate each other in real-time is a dominant practice of digital generation. Since its inception ten years ago the use of Twitter in educational settings has been growing considerably. School leaders, principals and teachers and college tutors and university professors use Twitter to communicate with staff, colleagues and students. A number of studies have been conducted to find out the affordances of Twitter and its usefulness and reported the advantages and drawbacks of the tool to use for teaching and learning in educational contexts. A large number of academic and scholarly research on Twitter have also been carried out as part of the requirements in the doctoral programs in universities to examine various aspects of Twitter in education settings. This study analyses research on Twitter as part of the doctoral dissertations in the universities in the United States. It identifies major categories and topics, describes the findings and discusses gaps in the research area from the educational technology perspective. The study selects 17 doctoral dissertations and examine the research aims, methodologies and the results. The study proposes five overlapping categories namely Twitter and concept learning, professional development, personal learning networks, language and literacy and student engagement. The analysis reveals that Twitter research in educational technology is still fragmented using diverse theories and methodical advances are necessary for future research.
Keywords: Twitter; review; educational technology; professional development; learning; social networks; engagement.
Promoting Strategy Research on Blended Teaching Mode Reform in Colleges and Universities: A Case Study in China
by Hongtao Yu
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to construct promoting strategies for effective blended teaching reform for higher education. Based on the literature review of promoting strategy research on blended teaching model reform in colleges and universities both in China and abroad, this paper put forward five promoting strategies for blended teaching mode reform in China. After the practice during a semester, the promoting strategies have proved to be effective in creating a suitable atmosphere for the blended teaching reform, promoting teachers teaching ability and improving students study initiative and competency.
Keywords: blended teaching; reform; guarantee system; research.
The Research on Programming Education in Elementary Schools from Five Countries
by Yuhe Tian, Jiayi Xiao, Jinjin Jiang, Hongyan Wang, Yuan Yuan
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review current developments focusing on the use of programming education in primary and secondary schools in various countries. The aim of the review is not only to introduce the different types of individual countries in promoting programming education, but also to help governments, enterprises, educational practitioners and researchers to understand the current developments of the programming education and to provide a reference for promoting programming education. The review is organized into four parts that cover different aspects of current research: (a) governments attention, (b) enterprises support, (c) colleges and universities assistance; and (d) implementation in primary and secondary schools. We summarized four findings：(a) governments attention is the foundation of developing programming education effectively, (b) the enterprises can make people touch and understand the programming education more easily, (c) colleges and universities play their roles in connecting schools and programming education, and (d) the schools are like bricks in the whole programming education development framework. The overall conclusions suggest that the governments, enterprises, colleges and universities and schools work together to promote programming education.
Keywords: programming education; review; enterprises.
A Review of Social Media in Education: Effects and Attitudes
by Ning Zu, Zhen Chen, Zhichen Duan, Li Li, Meng Zhou
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review previous studies focusing on the use of social media by teachers, students and educational researchers. The aim of the review on the current research studies is to find out what has been done with the use of social media for learning purposes, discuss their practical applications and discover its educational values. The emphasis of this review will be upon empirical findings rather than theoretical explanations. This review is organized into three sections that cover the major topics of current research: (a) applications of social media in education (e.g., methods applied in various researches, the findings of different empirical researches); (b) the effects of using social media (e.g., positive impacts of social media, negative impacts of social media); and (c) peoples attitudes towards social media (e.g., students' perceptions of social media use in learning, faculty attitudes towards social media for teaching). The overall conclusion suggests that the social media may have the potential to improve learning. But there may be more positive effects if the social media tools are combined with the real interaction in class.
Keywords: Social Media; Empirical research; Review.
Special Issue on: Young Researchers’ Critical Inquiry into Using Technology for Learning
A Literature Review of Designing Flipped Classroom to Engage Students
by Linh Nguyen, Qiyun Wang
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review the recent studies about using flipped classroom to engage students and propose a flipped classroom model which actively engages students in learning. Some five year recent articles have been reviewed to critique, compare, and summarise previous investigations about flipped classroom in order to propose the effective flipped classroom model to engage students. The proposed model based on principles, recommendations and suggestions from prior studies as guidelines for designing flipped classroom. The aims of proposed model are to maximize the advantages and overcome some challenges of flipped classroom to become an effective flipped classroom model to promote student engagement.
Keywords: flipped classroom; designing flipped classroom; flipped classroom model; student engagement; active learning; interactive learning environments.