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2014 ASEE International Forum

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1 2014 ASEE International Forum
Using Social Media to Create a Global Community of Sustainability-Engaged Students Matthew E. Verbyla Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida Colleen C. Naughton Civil Engineering, University of South Florida Allan Feldman Science Education, University of South Florida Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez Marilyn E. Brandt Marine Science, University of the Virgin Islands Maya A. Trotz Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida E. Christian Wells Anthropology, University of South Florida James R. Mihelcic 2014 ASEE International Forum Indianapolis, Indiana June 14, 2014

2 International experiences and the global engineering/science skill set
“A Global Community of Scholars” Core competencies in science & engineering Higher cognitive levels in attitudes & identity outcomes Language & cultural skills Teamwork & group dynamic skills Knowledge of business and education cultures of other countries and international variations in practice Exposure to global concepts of sustainability Sources: Bielefeldt et al. (2010); Hokanson et al. (2007); NRC (1999); Trotz et al. (2009)

3 But… Not everyone can travel abroad!

4 Social Media: It’s not just for teens anymore… There is a broad audience for young professionals
YouTube reaches more U.S. adults between years than any cable network. More than half of U.S. adults between years use a social networking site. The fastest-growing demographic on Twitter is year-olds.

5 NSF PIRE Grant: Context-Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy Systems
Start this slide 1 minute into the presentation

6 Common research objectives
NSF PIRE Grant USAID-NSF PEER Science Grant EPA Nutrient Management Center Global network of professionals dedicated to understanding context-specific engineered systems that recover water, nutrients, & energy resources from “waste”.

7 Spring 2014 Graduate Course: Context Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy-Nutrient Systems One-credit course run entirely with a blog, Twitter, & YouTube 25 students in Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, Czech Republic Course Objectives: Develop the global engineering/science skill set (slide 2) Learn about strategies that integrate social, engineered, and environmental systems for sustainable resource management Learn to use social media to discuss scientific research

8 Spring 2014 Graduate Course: Context Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy-Nutrient Systems Students prepare video, select reading materials, and discussion questions Participants watch video, read articles, prepare answers to questions Next student group prepares video, etc. Video, reading materials reviewed, posted to blog Day 1 Hour-long Twitter discussion takes place Day 6 Each student group (1 – 2 students) prepared 10 – 15 min video, selected reading materials, and prepared discussion questions about a topic chosen by professor Materials and discussion questions were shared with students via blog Hour-long, student-moderated Twitter discussion with 5 – 6 discussion questions about the video and the reading material

9 Research Question and Objectives of Study
Research Question: Can Twitter, YouTube, and a blog be used to create a “global community of scholars” that are engaged in learning about the meaning of sustainability across multiple disciplines? Specific Objectives: Document how Reclaim’s YouTube channel is being used. Measure the class participation in weekly Twitter discussions. Describe the nature of participant diversity in the conversation strings that emerged during class discussions Analyze the content of individual tweets during class discussions Start this slide 2-3 minutes into the presentation

10 Methods (approved by University of South Florida IRB)
YouTube Analytics TAGS software v5.1 with Microsoft Excel Sample of tweets analyzed for content Sample of conversation strings categorized by ‘type of talk’ using a dialogical framework (Wegerif & Mercer, 1997) Inter-coder agreement strategy (Creswell 2013) Pre- and post-course surveys

11 Twitter Discussion Content Analysis
Convers. string codes Disputation-al Talk Cumulative Talk Exploratory talk Question & Answer Individual tweet codes Question (Bloom’s taxonomy) Claim (no premise) Argument (claim with premise) Informative statement Unintellig-ible Agreeing / Disagreeing Sources: Bloom (1994); Feldman (2006); Wegerif & Mercer (1997)

12 Results Start this slide 4 minutes into the presentation

13 YouTube video viewers 25 students, weeks, 3-4 views and min per student per week, perhaps okay if videos are only 12 min, but 1-credit course means 3 hrs outside classroom preparation

14 Average View Duration

15 YouTube Videos: Average percentage viewed (30 day avg.)
Florida U.S. Virgin Islands Possible explanations Sharing with non-participant friends, etc. Multiple views per viewer Repeated viewing of portions of video Familiarity with content Novelty of material Length of video (Pearson’s c = -0.32)

16 Pace of Twitter Discussions
Start this slide 7 minutes into presentation Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you. Avg. tweets per discussion: 340 Avg. tweets per minute: 5.7 Avg. seconds per tweet: 10.6

17 Participation in Twitter Discussions

18 Anthropologists were conversationalists
Participation in Conversation Groups (dialogue exchanges initiated by a single comment or question) Anthropologists were conversationalists

19 Content Analysis of Individual Tweets (n = 318 tweets)
The majority of participants’ tweets were structured as claims with no premise** 9 minutes into presentation Participants agreed with each other more frequently than they disagreed* * p < 0.01 ** p < 0.001

20 ‘Types of Talk’ in Twitter Conversation Strings (n = 54 conversation strings)
EXAMPLE: Exploratory talk in conversation string (5 turns): P1: What are the challenges related to current water management strategies? P2: They are energy intensive and wasteful since they focus more on meeting regulations than sustainability P3: Metrics of sustainability can be differentially conceived in particular contexts though P2: Agreed though according to … video, water management is very linear and throws away nutrients and energy P3: Current centralized water management, yes

21 Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
What social networks do you use? p < 0.002 p < p < 0.01 Start this slide 12 minutes into presentation

22 Pre-Course Survey Rank the reasons you use social networks (in order of importance): Learning/Professional Development News/information Recreation and entertainment Research Connecting with friends Teaching

23 Post-Course Survey Rank the reasons you use social networks (in order of importance): Learning/Professional Development News/information ▲ Research (p = 0.145) ▲ Teaching (p = 0.082) Connecting with friends ▼ Recreation and entertainment (p = 0.321) * p-values calculated using Kendall’s rank correlation coefficient

24 Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
Define sustainability in your own words… 42%* of students appeared to have changed their definitions of sustainability 17%* of those students (10%* of total) appeared to have broadened their definitions. * alpha = 0.05

25 Conclusions Students and faculty learned together
Student-driven conversations had a diverse group of participants Students’ definitions of sustainability changed and/or broadened Social media use patterns changed (more career-focused?) Twitter and YouTube allowed for global participation (but what about internet inequity? who pays for these costs?) Perhaps still not enough evidence to confirm that the types of exchanges between course participants actually do signify the development of a “global community of scholars” (but still more data to analyze) Start this slide 14 minutes into presentation

26 Future Work Code more tweets and conversation strings
Analyze qualitative data from surveys Monitor post-course social network use patterns When course is offered again, make changes: Platform for discussions (character limit, public/private sphere) Video length <5 min.

27 Thank you! Acknowledgements
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant , as well as a Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to the lead author. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

28 References Slides 2, 10 and 11: Social Media Use slide:
National Research Council. Engineering Education Tasks for the New Century: Japanese and U.S. Perspectives. National Academy Press, Washington, DC Bielefeldt, A.R., Paterson, K., Swan, C Measuring the Value Added from Service Learning in Project-Based Engineering Education. International Journal of Engineering Education, 26(3), Hokanson, D.R., Phillips, L.D., Mihelcic, J.R Educating Engineers in the Sustainable Futures Model with a Global Perspective: Education, Research and Diversity Initiatives. International Journal of Engineering Education, 23(2), Trotz, M.A., Muga, H.E., Philips, L.D., Yeh, D., Stuart, A., Mihelcic, J.R Non-Traditional University Research Partners that Facilitate Service Learning and Graduate Research for Sustainable Development. Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, S. Starrett, ed., American Society of Civil Engineers, Kansas City, MO, 2038–2048. Wegerif, R. and Mercer, N. (1997) A Dialogical Framework for Investigating Talk. In Wegerif, R. and Scrimshaw, P. (Eds) Computers and Talk in the Primary Classroom, pp Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. ISBN: Bloom, B.S. (1994). Reflections on the development and use of the taxonomy. In Rehage, K.J., Anderson, L.W., Sosniak, L.A. "Bloom's taxonomy: A forty-year retrospective". Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education. Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Feldman, A. (1999) The role of conversation in collaborative action research, Educational Action Research, 7:1, Social Media Use slide: Images on slides 4 and 5:

29 “Graveyard” slides

30 Define sustainability in your own words…
Pre- and Post-Course Surveys Define sustainability in your own words… NOT CHANGED CHANGED BROADENED

31 Content Analysis of Discussion Questions from Twitter Chats (n = 65 questions)
Bloom’s Taxonomy

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