International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments (10 papers in press)
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
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
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.
School leadership and the knowledge of teacher-student interaction on Facebook
A study of a lower secondary school in Norway
by Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen
Abstract: The use of various social media sites is one of the most common activities of todays adolescents. A content analysis of printouts of teacher-student dialogue from a 10th grade Facebook group throughout a school year suggests that teachers and school leaders personal involvement in social media is of importance in a new era of learning contexts. By adopting perspectives from distributed leadership theory, the article investigates how teachers and students in a Norwegian lower secondary school jointly participate in Facebook interaction. It is important for school leaders to be present in the forceful and ephemeral nature of the social network sites students use at any given time. The findings show that teachers and school leaders may profit from gaining knowledge about Facebook and equivalent sites for the benefit of leading instruction and managing schools. The implications for teachers and school leaders are thus discussed in this paper.
Keywords: social media use; Facebook; distributed leadership; educational leadership; leading learning
The Role of Social Media in Teaching at the State University of Zanzibar
by Ben Daniel, Maryam Ismail, Umayra El-Nabahany, Said Yunus, Maryam Mwinyi, Abdulla Mohammed
Abstract: Institutions of higher education are currently investigating the role of social media technologies (SMTs) as a stronger educational tool in creating engaged learning environments for students. This research explored faculty's awareness of the value of social media in teaching and identifies possible challenges of integrating these technologies into their teaching at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). Results indicated that university teachers hold a positive outlook on the role of these technologies in improving students learning. Further, the research identified five factors that are likely to influence adoption of these technologies in future class room; subjective norms, peer and supervisory influence, perceived usefulness and facultys positive attitude towards value of these technologies in improving learning outcomes. In addition, effective institutional integration of social media at the SUZA is more likely to be dependent on how the institution addresses unique challenges of adoption such as acceptability and relevance, and the provisions of various forms of support and resources to teachers.
Keywords: Social media technologies, Teaching, technology integration into teaching
Design for Blended Synchronous Learning Using Video Conferencing: A Design-based Research
by Qiyun Wang, Choon Lang Quek
Abstract: In this study, a blended synchronous learning environment was created for a group of Master students to take a course. Most of the students came to the classroom to take lessons every week. Meanwhile, a few students were allowed to join the classroom instructional process by using video conferencing at homes or workplaces. The purpose of this study was to find out what challenges the remote students and the instructor met in the blended synchronous learning sessions and what strategies could be effectively used to address the challenges. Results showed that the engagement level of the remote students was low, and they had difficulties in communicating with the classroom students and asking questions. Some activities happening in the classroom were also difficult for them to observe and participate. Nevertheless, some students liked the way of attending lessons as it could save them much travel time. Also, it was hard for the instructor to pay attention to the remote students, and the instructor needed to adjust presentation slides so that important information would not be covered by streaming videos. Some useful strategies included partnership, regularly monitoring the understanding of remote students, using two cameras and two mics, and sound control and coordination.
Keywords: Blended learning, video conferencing, design-based research, synchronous learning
Meeting the Challenges of the New Business Universe through Virtual Collaborative Learning
by Owen Hall Jr.
Abstract: The world of virtual collaborative learning is now becoming the new norm throughout higher education in general, and at schools of business in particular. Under growing pressure from the business universe, business educators are in the process of radically altering the content and delivery of management education. Today, the business community is looking for web-savvy, problem-solving graduates who can immediately contribute upon joining the firm. To meet these and related financial issues, many schools of business are increasingly turning to the web as a vehicle for enhancing student learning opportunities and outcomes. Faculty engagement in this new learning zeitgeist is essential. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how virtual collaborative learning can be used to prepare students to meet the challenges of an uncertain job market and to outline strategies for implementing this revolutionary learning process throughout the management education community of practice.
Keywords: Virtual collaborative learning, social media, management education, implementation strategies, Web 2.0+, Haptics, Heutagogy
SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AND ITS IMPACT ON READING HABITS: A STUDY OF KOFORIDUA POLYTECHNIC STUDENTS
by Micheal Owusu -Acheaw
Abstract: The study investigates the use of social media by students of Koforidua Polytechnic and its impact on their reading habits. Questionnaire was administered on a sample of the students to gather data and information. The data was quantitatively analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Out of a total of 1,050 questionnaires administered, 852 responses were retrieved representing 80.98%. The study revealed that 92.72% of respondents visit social media sites every day and spent between 30 minutes to 3 hours, while 66.78% respondents indicated that the use of social media affected their reading habits. In addition, 81.92% of the respondents indicated they had not read novels or fiction within the last two semesters. The study revealed that there is a relationship between time spent on social media and reading habits and that constant use of social media leads to low reading habits. The study recommended that faculty staff should encourage students to spend less time on the social media sites and rather should be encouraged to channel more of their time and energies towards educational purposes. The study further recommended that Students should read a minimum of two novels or fiction during a semester as well as introduction of communication skills to 200/300level students.
Keywords: Social Networks, Tertiary Institution, Reading Style, Reading Interest, Information Literacy. rn
Investigating the barriers to technology integration in Singaporean Junior Colleges
by Kim Chun Kuang
Abstract: This survey examines the perceptions of 27 teachers on the barriers to technology integration (pedagogical beliefs, technology beliefs, school level, and system level factors) to support the implementation of interactive-constructive learning activities within constructivist pedagogical approaches to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics in the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level course. Several barriers were identified and their possible relationships are discussed with implications to strategies which can help foster an environment that supports teachers decisions to integrate technology. Further research directions are discussed together with the findings and limitations of the study.
Keywords: Singapore; junior colleges; mathematics; technology integration; barriers; ICAP framework