International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments (9 papers in press)
- Strategic implication in social media marketing based on social factors associated with the private universitys admission in Thailand
by Poom Tantiponganant, Prin Laksitamas
Abstract: In this study, we conducted a follow-up study to further investigate the concept of social media use by institutions of higher education in Thailand. The research investigated the fact that what kinds of social media are currently used by the target market of the institutions in higher education, and how different groups of students or prospective students behave on such platforms. In other words, the rationale behind of the study was to analyze those factors that affect students intention in order to use social media at a private university in Thailand. The research applies the theoretical conceptual framework based on the combination of behavioral intention theories including: Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). A survey in terms of developing a questionnaire was chosen in this study.Analyses were carried out to find how to implement social media through a social media strategy. According to the model assumptions and results, the findings showed that presenting the cooperation with other well-known companies or universities came to the first priority for majority of the students in the survey while presenting good image for the university through social media and presenting the prestige of the university through social media came to the second and third priority. These first three issues can effectively be used to promote the university through social media channels.
Keywords: Social Media, Communication, Brand Loyalty/ Notability, Promotions, Cooperation/Partnership, and Internationality
- Perceptions of Social Media as a Learning Tool: A Comparison between Arts and Science Students
by Laila Al-Sharqi, Khairuddin Hashim, Hussein Ahmed
Abstract: Social media is seen by some as a new media for enhancing the learning environment. It is rich in tools which can help enhance interaction, discussion and the sharing of learning resources. This study investigates differences and similarities on King Abdulziz University (KAU) Arts and Science students perceptions of social media as a learning tool. Data were collected using a specially designed survey during the academic year 2013/2014. The sample size was 2605 students of different ages and genders representing Arts and Science colleges. The results indicate that a moderate majority of KAU students at both college groups are using social media tools in their learning and have the desire to integrate social media as a tool in their learning at university. Survey results also highlight affinities for various social media tools and purposes of use between the two groups. The paper also reports interesting gender significant differences. The findings include identification of discipline-based dominant perceptions pertaining to advantages and disadvantages of social media in learning. The findings can encourage academic planners and faculty to adopt and implement use of appropriate social media tools and adapt to preferred learning styles within the teaching and learning environment of each college type.
Keywords: Social media; higher education; learning; student perception; preferences; social media tools; discipline difference; gender difference
- Blending Across the Curriculum
by Ivan Shibley, Maureen Dunbar
Abstract: Deliberate planning of blended courses across a curriculum can increase curricular coherence to help improve efficiency and effectiveness of programs by creating a more learner-centered degree program. This paper examines three degree programs in STEM disciplines that have blended multiple courses. One outcome of the blending is that similar course design, with similar technology, across the curriculum reduces extraneous cognitive load for the learner. To achieve coherence, shared curricular planning and institutional commitment is necessary to help reduce barriers to implementing technology. The most important technologies for the STEM programs discussed in this article are: screencasting, clickers, and online quizzes. Blending across an entire curriculum holds great potential for improving recruitment and retention in STEM programs.
Keywords: active learning; blended learning; classroom response system; cognition; course design; curricular design; flipped design; learner-centered; STEM; screen-casting; technology
- THE TWITTER ACADEMIC: SUPPORTING LEARNING COMMUNICATIONS IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
by Scott J. Warren
Abstract: Social media has become an important tool for communicating information and allowing for the shared construction of knowledge. Research on the use of specific tools and reports of curriculum or instruction designed to leverage them remains weak. The following piece provides a case in which an instructor developed a course that used the micro-blogging platform Twitter as an important means of academic communication and support for a nascent learning community. This study found that designing a course to include Twitter for out-of-class discourse fostered desired communicative actions for learning while also allowing the instructor to help foster student-initiated community.
Keywords: social media; Twitter; academic communication; learning; teaching; instructor; communicative actions; learning community; curriculum; graduate courses; knowledge construction
- Social media adoption among University Students: the role of gender, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use
by Michael Dzigbordi Dzandu, Henry Boateng, Franklin Gyamfi Agyemang, Fidelis Quansah
Abstract: Social media adoption has been phenomenal especially among the youth. This study seeks to examine the effect of perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and gender on social media adoption. The survey research design was used in this study to provide a basis for the generalization of the findings of this study. The respondents were mostly youth and were selected using convenience sampling technique. Data was analyzed using multiple regression. The findings indicate that, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use significantly predict social media adoption. However, there is no significant difference between males and females on adoption of social media. The implications of the results for the youth, teachers, technologist, marketers and developers of information systems have been put forward.
Keywords: Social media, Gender, TAM, Perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, Facebook, Twitter, Ghana
- Setting students free with tablets: A multi-method evaluation of an educational technology intervention
by Gavin Brown, Kumar Laxman, Hasan Ali
Abstract: Technology resources (e.g., tablets and websites) have the potential to extend school-based curriculum. Self-directed access to those computer resources has potential to improve learning outcomes. A multi-method case study evaluation of providing students with tablets as a self-directed learning tool for mathematics was carried out in a low socio-economic high school in New Zealand. Focus group interviews explored student experience with the tablets and the Khan Academy video tutorials for mathematics. A quasi-experimental analysis of pre- and posttest results showed no statistically significant advantage in mathematics achievement for the intervention students. Improvement in teacher rated classroom behaviour was positively correlated with achievement gains, teacher rated quality of classroom work was positively correlated with the number of times the tablets were borrowed from the school library and the length of time the tablets were borrowed. These correlations suggest that free, unmonitored access to tablets was associated with improved learning outcomes and behavior. However, the evaluation clearly shows that integrating tablet access with classroom practices would be a valid direction to further improvement in student outcomes.
Keywords: Tablets; Independent learning; Mathematics; Khan Academy; High School Students; Achievement
Special Issue on: "Design-based Research for Online Learning Environment Development,"
- Between Virtual and Real: ExploringHybridInteraction and Communication in Virtual Worlds
by Athanasios Christopoulos, Marc Conrad, Mitul Shukla
Abstract: In this paper we aim to explore the potential advantages of interactions on student engagement and provide guidance to educators who seek interactive and immersive learning experiences for their students through the use of hybrid virtual learning approaches. We define as hybrid virtual learning the educational model where students are co-present and interacting simultaneously both within a virtual world and the physical classroom receiving stimuli related to the learning material in the virtual world from both directions. In order to achieve our aim, we categorised interactions in various categories and observed the complex network of interactions which can be developed in a virtual world when groups of people are working together in order to achieve different goals. The findings suggest that students spontaneously tend to use the interaction channels only when it is deemed to be necessary.
Keywords: virtual world; virtual learning; opensim; higher education; hybrid learning; student engagement; interactions.
Special Issue on: "Blended Learning,"
- M-Learning in Nigerian Higher Education: An Experimental Study with Edmodo
by Solomon Sunday Oyelere, Vasileios Paliktzoglou, Jarkko Suhonen
Abstract: Social media technologies have recently gained remarkable popularity in education sector. Recent research indicated that students rely on social media for educational purposes like social networking, chatting, and knowledge sharing. Despite that social media is aiding learning experiences, m-learning is anticipated to improve the application of social media. In the paper, we investigated the preference of social media tools and mobile devices for learning, their benefits and effectiveness, and how they can possibly improve learning process in Nigeria. Furthermore, we evaluated learning experiences of students using Edmodo social media based learning environment in a Nigerian University. We used a mixed method research approach, where the data was triangulated from two questionnaires and students interviews. Data gathered after the course shows that students learning response was improved. Students were eager to use mobile devices for accessing social media sites, thus providing experimental evidence of the place of social media in m-learning.
Keywords: mobile learning; Edmodo; social learning; social media; learning aid; learning experiences; mobile devices; Higher Education; mixed method research; experimental studies; Web 2.0; Nigeria.
- A Case Study for Blended Learning in Law Enforcement and Crime Labs
by Kevin Lothridge, Lori Sullivan, Christine Vivian
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present blended learning as a viable approach for law enforcement skills training and offer strategies to build successful programmes. Based on NFSTCs experience and feedback received from learners who have participated in blended training, skills such as crime scene investigation can successfully be acquired, applied and shared using this method. Data was gathered to create this case study using assessment scores and an electronic follow up survey of more than 800 learners who have taken the blended training in the past five years. Significantly, 96% of respondents said they were able to immediately apply the skills they learned when they returned to their agency and 90% shared tools and techniques from the training with their agency, and the majority would use blended learning again. As a result of these findings, we believe blended learning should be more widely adopted in law enforcement settings. We have evaluated the outcomes of several programmes to identify strategies for successful programme design, which include driving all content towards clear learning objectives, quality materials in all components of the training, a seamless integration between online and instructor-led components and a clear path and expectations for the learner.
Keywords: Blended learning for law enforcement, crime laboratory training, blended learning success strategies, real-life scenarios; applied learning, blended learning, public sector solutions, blended learning models, blended solutions for applied science training.