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Dan Nataf, Ph.D. Director, Center for the Study of Local Issues,

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Presentation on theme: "Dan Nataf, Ph.D. Director, Center for the Study of Local Issues,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring the Use of Social Media for Instructional Purposes – Results of a Survey of AACC Faculty
Dan Nataf, Ph.D. Director, Center for the Study of Local Issues, Associate professor, Political Science On behalf of the Learning Technologies subcommittee workgroup composed of Rajwant Gill, Jeremiah Prevatte, Paul Gabriel-Tucci

2 Tasks of the workgroup 1. Review literature on uses of social media for instructional purposes Identify best practices Results: Inconclusive 2. Assess how social media is used by AACC faculty Conducted survey in spring 2012 Results to be presented Your input welcomed!

3 Overview of the survey 1. Identified nine types of social media
Video-sharing Photo-sharing Microblogging Blogging Livestreaming Social Networking Virtual World Animation Social News 1. Identified nine types of social media Common elements Communication Diverse contributors Relationships/ networking Creative interaction Information and opinion sharing Archiving, accessing

4 Overview of the survey Main questions
Whether a faculty member has used any tools within the nine social media categories for instructional purposes If so, how was the tool actually used Students’ receptivity to the incorporation of these tools Which tools and approaches have worked best Which tools and approaches didn’t work well Whether usage has been within the Angel learning management system Review of “best pedagogical practices”

5 Which types of tools have been used?
Percentage Utilizing Video-sharing 76 Social networking 44 Microblogging 18 Photo-sharing Blogging 12 Animation 5 Virtual world 4 Social news Livestreaming 1

6 Video-sharing (76%) What is it?
A Web based repository for digital videos that can be accessed by and commented upon by certain groups or the public in general. YouTube is main source for video-sharing. Uses: Instructional videos “I have recorded and edited videos of pottery making processes. That way students can review processes, or if they missed class they can see the demonstration.” Illustrative videos as supplements (Sources included Open University, YouTube and Teacher Tube) “I used clips of current trends in early childhood education to keep students up-to-date.” “I have pulled up specific videos of techniques or segments of movies/TV shows when relevant. “I use videos to show plays, poets, or other authors reading their works.”

7 Videosharing Guidance in the classroom Student assignments
“I use brief videos to clarify expectations and offer help with other assignments.” Student assignments “Students choose topics relevant for the class and select a video for class viewing.” “Students post their work on YouTube for class review/critique…” “I have shown clips of shows or commercials that are subject of discussion in class.” “Students are shown how to upload their own videos and presentations to YouTube for portfolio purposes.”

8 Social Networking (44%) facebook Wall Info Photos Boxes Write something… Share What is it? The use of a Web site to post text, photos, and videos that can be accessed and commented upon by certain groups or the public in general. Facebook most used: Tool Percentage Utilizing Facebook 23 Google+ 14 Linkedin 7 MySpace Other 10 None 56 Total 110* *Multiple answers possible

9 Social Networking: Uses
Announcements and Information Sharing “We share with students the presence of departmental opportunities, local exhibitions, and the availability of scholarships.” “I post updates, links and reminders about the course as well as uploading course related documents.” “Students use Facebook to share information for patient care plans, drug information, and for studying purposes.” “I use Facebook as a means to share current articles.”

10 Social Networking: Uses
Student contact “I use Facebook to keep in contact with current and past students.” “I use it as a communication tool with present and past students.” General Instruction “I teach students in reporting classes to use Facebook to find sources for news and feature stories.” “I use examples of grammatical errors on Facebook to emphasize proofreading techniques.” “I had students view Facebook pages and make recommendations for my e-marketing class.” “LinkedI n is a requirement for my portfolio and internship students – students setup an account and must request to connect with me and other students.”

11 Microblogging (18%) What is it? A method for disseminating 140 character text messages to those who choose to ‘follow’ the sender. Twitter was main tool cited; Tumblr was mentioned as well. Uses Follow the instructor “Students can follow me, should they choose to do so.” “I provide students the option to follow my status on Twitter.” Announcements and information sharing “I use it to provide information and announcements to my students.” “I use it to provide industry current event information.” General instruction “I’ve had student reporters use Twitter to cover campus events. They interview people and then create a series of tweets to report the news.” “I required students to sign up for Twitter and use it in class to ask questions and to communicate among their peers during a lecture.”

12 Photosharing (18%) What is it? The use of a Web tool for placing images on a server commonly accessible by certain groups or the public generally. Most commonly cited: . Uses General instruction “We have used Flickr to create photo sets related to research projects.” Students use Flickr to find digital images to use in their artwork that are covered under the Creative Commons licensing structure. We discuss licensing, what the “CC” means, and how they might incorporate images into their own work.” Students post images or video clips of field trips as well as written descriptions accompanying the images, using Flickr and Picassa as well as YouTube.

13 Blogs (12%) What are they? Sites where author(s) leave “posts” – comments about themselves, their opinions, or other information they wish to share with certain groups or the public in general. Unlike microblogs, these are not generally limited in length. They are typically interactive, allowing viewers to leave their own messages. They may be accompanied by photos, videos or audio recordings. Wordpress and Google blogger most commonly cited.

14 Blogs (12%) Uses Student assignments:
“Students use blogs as reflective exercises, to develop a portfolio website, to develop a live custom blog for a client, and to document what they are learning and collect resources for future reference.” “Wordpress hosts the eight year blog that I and others have used to write about disabilities and the psychological/emotional impact. I do not make reading the blog a requirement, but students can access it for information and/or occasionally receiving extra credit as deemed necessary.” Organize course information and links “I used Blogger to create a course hub for my English 200 courses. Students get links to literary magazines, to free versions of anthologized stories, and I post assignments and creative writing exercises.” “I use Blogger to organize course materials and provide a centralized location for links, and students can also post their completed writings.”

15 Virtual Worlds (5%) What is it? A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. Most commonly mentioned: Second Life Uses General instruction - demonstrations: “Our surgical technology course is developing a Second Life operating room.” “I use it for classroom demonstrations and to visit the AACC Second Life island.” “It would be “an interesting way to allow students to communicate in real time and have pseudo “face-to-face” time with instructors.”

16 Virtual Worlds Critical comments
“Signed up and tried Second Life, but found that someone can spend too much time in the program. It is a money machine for the creators, but not a substitute for real life. I don’t use it anymore.” “Students hate Second Life. It is slow, outdated, and fails to enhance instruction in any way. It might be exciting to someone over 40 who never plays video games, but I fail to see how it serves any purpose that Angel doesn’t already allow for…” “This is probably the silliest and most trendy and useless format I can possibly imagine.”

17 Animation (5%) What is it? Xtranormal is the main site for this – it hosts computer animated videoclips created by users who write dialog spoken by animated three-dimensional characters. Example Uses Very few comments “I created a video to explain the difference between system software and application software.”

18 Social News Tools (4%) What is it? Sites where users can post and vote for or against articles related to news and a variety of topics. Comments are usually possible which are themselves subject to voting… Sites: Reddit, Digg Uses - Very few comments… “An article on Reddit became a popular source for one of my research topics this semester (cyberbullying), so the tool was discussed in class.”

19 Livestreaming (0%) What is it? A method for broadcasting (streaming) a filmed event in real time or broadcasting pre-recorded video using the Web. Ustream and Livestream are common sites. (Example) There were no comments/uses for these tools.

20 Students’ receptivity to these tools
Most faculty members were positive about students’ receptivity. Percentage Positive 65 Negative 12 Mixed/other 23 Total 100

21 Students’ receptivity to these tools: comments
Positive comments: “I think students enjoy it. Those who are active in our Facebook group are always more engaged overall.” “My younger students have no problem posting to YouTube. Older students often get help from others and soon are adept at posting to and viewing on YouTube. I notice that students now seek out other students’ speeches, from other colleges, offering my students an even wider perspective on public speaking skills.” “Receptivity was always excellent…clips were used for motivational purposes…” “Students come alive with video and/or any other visual materials.”

22 Students’ receptivity to these tools: comments
Mixed comments: “Students’ receptivity was mixed, as it is with any teaching tool. Some responded well to the videos, others did not even watch it. The class blog was met with resistance until they saw how it tracked hits, etc. That made them more interested.” “Some students like to engage in these tools and furthering their learning via these channels. Other students do not like to engage in using them for academic purposes (as opposed to private ones).” Negative comments: “Students appreciate the fact that I do NOT use this sort of garbage, but instead concentrate upon useful technology. Shared ignorance – which is what social media are – is still ignorance.”

23 What worked best… On YouTube:
“Students enjoy (and seem to learn better) when presented with visual content and with personalized content. “ “Students like the YouTube clips because the break up the class time. They are completely used to this tool, they don't think it is any different than showing something from a CD.” “They LOVE the videos! The ones I find are helpful in illustrating ideas beyond just words in a textbook, and my video instructions on different course tasks/features are quicker and easier to understand than written directions.” About others… “Students tend to like the integration of blogging and Facebook in our classes. Our students may be more technically savvy than other disciplines, simply due to the nature of our coursework. It's a great way for students to learn to communicate and document their work and time here.” “When I post hints and tips on Facebook and Twitter, students who are diligent seemed to appreciate such information.”

24 What didn’t work well… Four main areas of concern:
Complexity and the high/sustained level of effort/attention both for faculty and students. “I’m hesitant to use tools such as Second Life that have a steeper learning curve, require better computers, and don’t seem to me to do much that I can’t do with simpler tools.” “Twitter seems too high maintenance unless a student is online constantly…some are, some aren’t.” “Not many of my students are Twitter users.” “My use of Twitter never seemed to appeal to students…” Blogs - “Students were initially excited and receptive, but over the course of time, they utilized these tools just as infrequently as they utilize office hours, tutoring, and other such supplemental tools.”

25 What didn’t work well… Four main areas of concern:
2. Differential access to course information based on the ease of access to and preferences regarding social media. General point: There were some who said that students complained that since usage of these tools wasn’t a requirement, it was unfair to post course information (on Twitter or Facebook) that wasn’t generally available elsewhere, such as within Angel. Example: “Facebook groups create a divide. Student who join the group like it. Some students who do not want to join the group have expressed concern that they shouldn’t have to join the group to get access to additional course content.”

26 What didn’t work well… Four main areas of concern:
3. Privacy, both for faculty members and students General point: Blurs the line between personal lives and school. Issues of identity theft. Example: “[Using Facebook] I [the faculty member] felt that there was too much access to my personal information. Plus, it seemed to make them [the students] less formal with me, but not in a good way.” “I have had many students tell me they do not have Facebook accounts. I suspect there are many students who do use Facebook but are not interested in class related material being involved in their Facebook accounts or they have privacy concerns about me or their classmates seeing their profiles.”

27 What didn’t work well… Four main areas of concern:
4. Intellectual property rights; ensuring content is appropriate. General point: How do you control the content, ensuring that it is legally used and appropriate? Example: “Any site that has to be monitored for appropriate content or inappropriate ads could be not worth the effort…”

28 Social Media and Angel…
Nearly one-half of faculty used social media tools outside of the Angel learning management system. Percentage Utilizing Within Angel learning management system 18 Outside Angel learning management system 49 Both 33 Total 100 Some faculty members maintained both Angel and non-Angel Web sites.

29 Social Media and Angel…
How were Angel and social media tools integrated? Angel as repository for materials – embedding YouTube videos or links to outside resources within areas of Angel. Angel as an area for postings – discussion forums Angel LMS advantages: Training/help available for use Control over content – legal and appropriate Limits access to only students – but all enrolled students will have access Avoids blending of personal and academic lives Ensures greater privacy Greater possibility of grading/assessing student work Angel disadvantages: Some links don’t work – problems/limitations of the Angel system Doesn’t introduce students to world of social media outside of Angel

30 Eight best practices for instructors and AACC
1. College policies on the use of social media – are these necessary? Needed: “The College should have user policies and procedures on any social media tools that are used in a learning environment.” Not needed: “I’m not sure we should set college-wide rules and practices at this point until we see how social media might be useful as a pedagogical tool.” “In a computer course the issue of good virtual citizenship may be addressed but an official College policy for social media use across the curriculum seems like hand-holding.”

31 Best practices for instructors and AACC
2. Professional development and technical support for instructors. Needed: Raise awareness of how these tools work, how they can be used for instructional purposes, how privacy and intellectual property rights can be safeguarded. Ensure equipment and training are there to support instruction. But is college technical assistance able to do this? “The College’s technical support staff has trouble keeping up-to-date on in-house software and hardware, let alone be able to support the demands of these [social media] tools…” Is it a good use of college resources? College equipment must be able to handle the demands Is it worth the time and energy of faculty – what is the return on investment? “Best practices is not using these tools unless you can really justify it. The amount of work it takes to create something in Second Life or Xtranormal is a waste of the teacher’s time, doesn’t enhance learning, and students are generally turned off by it.”

32 Best practices for instructors and AACC
3. Instruction and technical support for students. Where does responsibility primarily reside: college-wide resources or specific courses? Must the use of social media be specifically covered in computer literacy courses? Are individual instructors to be the ‘help desk’ to explain how various tools operate? “Students should take a class showing how to use social media. There are so many pros and cons that can make or break the experience…they need to be educated before they can use it.” “Take time to show them what you are offering, how it works.”

33 Best practices for instructors and AACC
4. Should students be required to use social media as a condition of enrollment in a course? Is there an announced policy that specifies that a given course requires students to use, e.g, Facebook or Twitter? Is it fair to expect students to receive course specific announcements, “hints,” or other communication through tools that might not be available or desirable for all students? 5. Privacy – are specific policies needed about how and when social media tools are appropriate and about any risks to privacy and identity theft? “I am Facebook friends with many current and past students; I am very careful about what I post, as well as set up security measures that don’t allow current students to see my Facebook wall, or allow them to post anything.”

34 Best practices for instructors and AACC
6. Be clear about the link between the use of online resources and course learning objectives. Make sure the instructor has provided enough guidance for students to competently use social media while attaining the learning objectives. “Carefully-designed tasks/projects that are objective-driven [and understood by students] will avoid many of the “aimlessly wandering around the Internet” issues. Providing students with starting points, templates, links, sample projects and the like will help them visualize and customize their goals for the project.” 7. Ensure that students are aware of the information validity limits from various online and sources as well as the risks of plagiarism. “Avoid non-peer reviewed sources of information.” “There are some valid sites like TED and Khan Academy whose use should be encouraged. There is another site where the top 100 Web tools are surveyed and reviewed… We are better off training people how to use such sites properly that try to restrict their use and allow only selected sites. We should teach them to make relevant decisions about such sites.”

35 Best practices for instructors and AACC
8. Netiquette – be sure to convey what are “good online manners/practices.” “Do not let students just use Facebook the way they normally use the tool. Have instruction on best practices…they won’t know any better if we do not tell them how to use these tools appropriately.”

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