Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

George Veletsianos, Cesar C. Navarrete (2012) Online Social Networks as Formal Learning Environments: Learner Experiences and Activities, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol.13, No1 (2012)

While the potential of social networking sites to contribute to educational endeavors is highlighted by researchers and practitioners alike, empirical evidence on the use of such sites for formal online learning is scant. To fill this gap in the literature, we present a case study of learners’ perspectives and experiences in an online course taught using the Elgg online social network. Findings from this study indicate that learners enjoyed and appreciated both the social learning experience afforded by the online social network and supported one another in their learning, enhancing their own and other students’ experiences. Conversely, results also indicate that students limited their participation to course-related and graded activities, exhibiting little use of social networking and sharing. Additionally, learners needed support in managing the expanded amount of information available to them and devised strategies and “workarounds” to manage their time and participation.

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Comments on: "Do Learners benefit from using Online Social Networks as Formal Learning Environments?" (1)

  1. I went to college during the era when online learning was hitting it big. We were encouraged to use all sorts of technology to communicate with each other, but I do see this causing some problems in my generation. We’re the ones who would rather write an email that takes us twice as long than what could be accomplished over a quick phone call. For me at least, when my social media skills increased, I found my person-to-person social skills decrease.

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