Title: If you cannot beat them, join them: using social media as an active learning tool

Authors: Sharmin Attaran; Stefanie L. Boyer; Christine M. Mitchell

Addresses: Bryant University, 1150 Douglas Road, Smithfield, RI 02917, USA ' Bryant University, 1150 Douglas Road, Smithfield, RI 02917, USA ' Bryant University, 1150 Douglas Road, Smithfield, RI 02917, USA

Abstract: This article addresses the common concerns faculty face in the classroom - students are addicted to technology and social media. Rather than banning social media from the classroom, instructors can implement its use as an active learning tool to increase engagement related to the course content in learning communities of peers, experts and organisations. This article provides an example of how to use social media in a sustainability marketing university course offering and explores how social media impacts attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge related to course content. Sustainability knowledge and behaviours significantly increased (p < 0.000; p = 0.003) after social media was implemented in the course offering. In addition, students attitudes toward practicing sustainability, reducing consumption, and being ecofriendly significantly increased (p = 0.013; p < 0.000; p = 0.002) based on pre and post class measures.

Keywords: social media; engagement; cognitive dissonance; active learning; technology; microblogs; sustainability marketing; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2014.063401

International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2014 Vol.2 No.2, pp.170 - 181

Received: 01 Aug 2013
Accepted: 14 Nov 2013

Published online: 14 Jul 2014 *

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