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Social Media, eLearning & Blended Learning

Higher Education Academy Conference/Workshop on Embedding Social Media in Academic Curricula: Exploring Technology, Enquiry and Pedagogy.
by

Claudia Megele

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Social Media, eLearning & Blended Learning

eLearning & Blended Learning:
Embedding Social Media in Academic Curricula
Exploring Technology, Enquiry and Pedagogy


Step up to Social Work Concept
Children, Schools and Families Committee (2008-2009) suggest a fast track ‘grow your own scheme’.

Attract ‘the Best & the Brightest’ into social work.

Raise the image & status of the profession .

Closer links between employers and HEIs.

Field Focus: Children & Family Child Protection Focus.

Local authorities in the driving seat.

Some of the challenges of the course
The programme was front loaded;

Diverse student background & expectations;

Students were on placement and away from the university for 200 days;

Narrative of academic thinking being too abstract and far from practice.

Step up Partnership
8 regional partnerships were formed which brought together 42 local authorities.

2 universities were appointed to work with regional partnerships.

Each regional partnership was linked with one of two universities.

The first cohort of 185 trainees started their training in September 2010.

Myself and a colleague were responsible for programme delivery of the second cohort of Step UP to Social Work for one of the regional partnerships which consisted of 8 local authorities.

Pedagogic Model
Case Study
Research Paper Presentation
Minimal information for registering a new user;
Easy, intuitive and conversational platform;
Short messages induce and encourage interaction and conversation;
Simplicity of privacy settings: Public by default + possibility for protected tweets
Enhancing students social awareness and presence;
Many students had Facebook accounts and Twitter offered the possibility to introduce them to a new social media platform;
Possibility to register anonymous accounts;
Great interactivity with a rich array of views in multilogue conversations help expanding the breadth of students’ knowledge and perspectives;
Multilogue conversations challenging students to go beyond their comfort zone and tap into their zone of proximal development (ZPD).

Background &
Knowledge Networks & Communities

Embedding Social Media:
Theoretical Framework
Pedagogic Model
Choice of Social Media
Case Study

Programme Context & Challenges
Social Work and Media
Knowledge Networks & Communities
Process of the knowledge community
Social Media Stereotypes
Celebrity and Triviality
Theoretical Framework: Dialectical Constructivism
Knowledge:
'...as temporary, developmental, nonobjective, internally constructed, and socially and culturally mediated.'

Learning:
self-regulatory effort reconciling the existing personal models of the world and discrepant new insights....

Knowledge generation:
meaning making and constructing new representations and models of experience, and further negotiating such meaning through cooperative social activity, discourse, and debate
Adopted from Fosnot, 1996, p. ix
Dialectical Constructivism
Moving From Moving To
Outcomes + Some thoughts & Reflections
Some of my aims were:
Meet students & bring learning where they were;

Create a culture of continuous learning;

Ensure students stay connected;

Help students take responsibility for their own learning & development;

Cultivate a culture of continuous improvement;

Create a positive social learning environment;

Raise students digital awareness & literacy;

Establish and cultivate eProfessionalism.
Enquiry Based Learning
Reasons for Choosing Twitter
Reasons for Choosing Wiki
Allowing students to focus and research their area of interest;
Develop the depth of students’ understanding and knowledge in relation to their chosen area;
Work with peers with flexibility and based on mutually agreed framework, and to achieve quantitative and qualitative objectives within a timeframe;
Co-ownership and sharing responsibility for own and other people’s work;
Go beyond collaboration, and to experientially learn about coproducion of knowledge;
Develop an appreciation for co-authorship, and the concept of rhizomatic writing;
To gain greater appreciation for both the process and outcomes;
To develop coproductive skills, and a greater sense of social responsibility;
History function enabling the tutor to monitor students activity, contributions, and engagement.

by: Claudia Megele
Online Identities & use of Anonymity
Use of anonymous Twitter account.

Levelling effect: equal point of departure and equal opportunity for participation.

Minimised social stereotypes and relational hierarchies.

Protect students' identities.

Ease any concerns about expressing one’s views in a public forum.

Preserve individual choice and students' freedom and choice in managing existing or future online profiles.

Opportunity to learn about social media and e-professionalism in relative safety of anonymity.

Enjoy the process and focus on learning and developing necessary skills rather than worrying about the "perfect tweet".
Select 5 research papers
on parental substance misuse;
Assign each paper to about 5 students.

At this stage all students were familiar with use of Twitter, and the concept of Twitter speech and Twitter chat.
Post a summary and critique of the research paper on Moodle;
Present the summary and critique on Twitter;
15 minutes Q&A on Twitter.
All tweets were captures and blogged for further reference, discussion and reflection.
Outcomes
The ease of availability combined with synchronous and asynchronous capabilities of social media allowed students to carry on a continued multilogue and reflection.
Anonymous student feedback;

Student led evaluation (survey & face-to-face feedback);

All feedback and evaluation were reported to the programme board and university assessment board.

Student 1: ‘On a personal level, I often resist and question any change, but I have become more aware of the importance of my online professionalism and the ways of engaging with social media.’

Student 2: ‘It means that you have another way of learning available to you if you want/need it. It’s good to be aware of everything that’s out there even if you choose not to use it.’

Student 3: ‘The pace/number of ideas going on at one time was something that I struggled with at first, and this made contributing very difficult. However, this is much easier now, and I have gained confidence because of it. Seeing the ideas of others also gives you new ways of thinking about topics/issues….’
Students' Feedback
Student 1:
‘On a personal level, I often resist and question any change, but I have become more aware of the importance of my online professionalism and the ways of engaging with social media.’
Student 2:
‘It means that you have another way of learning available to you if you want/need it. It’s good to be aware of everything that’s out there even if you choose not to use it.’
Student 3: ‘The pace/number of ideas going on at one time was something that I struggled with at first, and this made contributing very difficult. However, this is much easier now, and I have gained confidence because of it. Seeing the ideas of others also gives you new ways of thinking about topics/issues….’
Received positive student feedback;
Promoting students’ participation;
Enhanced learning by increasing inter-relational dimensions of students learning;
Activities aimed at developing students meta-competence.
Cultivating active learning;
Promote principles of praxis and the link between theory and practice;
Cultivate evidence based debate and critique;
Cultivate eProfessionalism and the use of social media as an integral part of students identity;
Cultivate effective use Personal Learning Networks (PLN).
Some further Outcomes
Reflecting Back
Computer Lab & Technical Support
Introductory lecture workshop;
Separate computer lab session;
Support students to register social media accounts;
Technical and practical support to support and familiarise students with the selected platforms and software.
Allow sufficient time for consultation and the complexities of the approval process.

From outset ensure clarity of objectives, theories, models of delivery, approach, feedback mechanisms, and evaluation.

Establish clear and well documented monitoring and support processes.

Establish clear Quality Assurance criteria and processes.
Reflections
This was the first time Twitter was being used in academic curricula in social work & social care.

Limited Familiarity with social media and its ethical and practical challenges and opportunities.

Fast changing landscape requiring continued update, and fear of obsolescence.

Short decision lifespan and lack of appreciation for financial and resource implications and return on projects.

Concern with privacy and confidentiality of information.

Concern with management of boundaries.
Integrated &
Coordinated approach
Design, development, implementation, and delivery of the project.

Single point of reference for students.

Knowledge of relevant pedagogic models and technical frameworks combined with course content enabled me to:
adapt the processes and manage different situations in a dynamic and flexible manner;
respond in contextually relevant manner to students changing needs and queries.

Important to standardise the above to enable dept. & school wide teams to coordinate/carryout such tasks, while maintaining flexibility, relevance & timeliness.

Like Life, Social Media is what you make of it.
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