Authors: Hongtao Sun; Li Chen
Addresses: Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China ' Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China
Abstract: Web 2.0 tools with social network features provide new possibilities for distance education. However, it is still challenging to use them in educational practice. The lack of a comprehensive understanding of Web 2.0 tools might be one of the important reasons for this challenge. This paper suggests a systemic framework for analysing the social affordance of Web 2.0 tools, which is important to online learning. The proposed framework is based on four fields of literature, including the current affordance research, the features of Web 2.0 tools, the needs of distance education and pedagogy theory. It includes four dimensions, social connection, information aggregation, reflection and expression, and dialogue and collaboration. In each dimension, indicators and analysis method are also proposed. A case study is presented to show the process of analysis. In this case study, interaction in a post-graduate course supported by a micro-blog and a forum are analysed with an integrated analysis methodology including content analysis, social network analysis and online behaviour analysis. The affordance of micro-blogs was discussed based on this proposed framework.
Keywords: Web 2.0; social affordance; interaction; microblogs; microblogging; social networking; online learning; electronic learning; e-learning; distance education; pedagogy theory; online forum; postgraduate eduation; content analysis; social network analysis; SNA; online behaviour analysis.
International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.37 - 59
Received: 23 Jan 2013
Accepted: 14 Aug 2013
Published online: 13 May 2014 *