Title: Active user or lurker? A phenomenological investigation of graduate students in social media spaces

Authors: Enilda Romero-Hall

Addresses: The University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Department of Education (Box S), Tampa, FL, 33615, USA

Abstract: This phenomenological study describes instructional design (ID) graduate students' perceptions of their programs' social media spaces. Ten graduate students were recruited for participation in this investigation. Data sources included individual interviews. The researcher conducted a phenomenological data analysis seeking to grasp and elucidate the meaning, structure, and essence of the graduate students' participation in the social media spaces. In summary, the results of this investigation show that graduate students access resources from each other, feel as part of a community, enjoy reading others' views and perspectives about the field, and experience moments of informal learning while participating in the social media spaces of their graduate programs. However, graduate students also have concerns regarding these social media spaces' impact on privacy, time management, and distraction.

Keywords: informal learning; social media; graduate students; virtual communities; networking; instructional design; graduate education; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2017.090975

International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2017 Vol.5 No.4, pp.326 - 340

Received: 28 Mar 2017
Accepted: 21 Jul 2017

Published online: 02 Apr 2018 *

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