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Social Networking in Distance Learning: Help or Hindrance? Kelley A. Conrad FTAF, University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies Mary Weber Faculty,

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Presentation on theme: "Social Networking in Distance Learning: Help or Hindrance? Kelley A. Conrad FTAF, University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies Mary Weber Faculty,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Networking in Distance Learning: Help or Hindrance? Kelley A. Conrad FTAF, University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies Mary Weber Faculty, University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies

2 We have been exploring the Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2000) Community of Inquiry Model of educational experience as it applies to distance learning and specifically Social Networking. The CoI model explores the combinations of Social Presence Cognitive Presence Teaching Presence In the formation of optimal educational experiences.

3 CoI Model for Education Social Presence Ability of participants to identify with the community, communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop interpersonal relationships by projecting individual personalities. Cognitive Presence Extend to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse. Teaching Presence Design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning experiences. (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000)

4 Community of Inquiry Model Reprinted with permission of D. R. Garrison

5 Student Ratings Importance of CoI Dimensions (Diaz, Swan, Ice, & Kupczynski, 2010)

6 Growing Social Media Use %

7 Student Use of Facebook (Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009)

8 Twitter is Noticeably Less Popular

9 Our Research Question Given the recent major increase of Social Networking in all population groups and the little research on its use and effects in the distance education classroom, What are the practices and experiences of current online distance learning instructors incorporating social networking or social media? We expected the major influences would be in the overlap areas of the CoI model.

10 Value of “overlaps” in the CoI Model Supporting Discourse Scardamalia & Bereiter (1991) CSILE Regulating Learning Brown & Campione (1990) Brown (1994) Jigsaw Setting Climate Neuman Systems Model

11 Community of Inquiry Model Research For Understanding Distance Learning Dewey (1938) Practical Inquiry and community and Inquiry Henri (1991) Newman, Johnson, Cochrane, and Webb (1996) Newman, Webb, and Cochrane (1997) Gunawardena (1995) Hiltz and Turoff (1993) Chafe and Danielewicz, (1987) Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2010)

12 Generation Y Motives to Join Facebook ® (Gangadharbatla, 2009)

13 Popular Social Networking Activities

14 Some things we expected we might find Here are a few of the practices from distance learning that we expected we might find in classrooms using SN as part of the online experience.

15 Principles from DL Communities of Practice Students need to be actively engaged, not passive Students must see problems as worth the investment of their time Teacher’s role is to be a facilitator of learning more so than content expert Students need the opportunity for reflection Problems should be ill-structured to invite student solutions Support the students rather than simplify the problems Work is collaborative and social – Meaning is negotiated in the social environment The learning context is motivating (Barab & Duffy, 2000)

16 Principles of Design for Effective DL CoI - 1 (Bielaczyc & Collins, 1999) Community-Growth Principle Emergent-Goals Principle Articulation-of-Goals Principle Metacognitive Principle Beyond-the-Bounds Principle Respect-for-Others Principle Failure-Safe Principle

17 Principles of Design for Effective DL CoI - 2 Structural-Dependence Principle Depth-over-Breadth Principle Diverse-Expertise Principle Multiple-Ways-to-Participate Principle Sharing Principle Negotiation Principle Quality-of-Products Principle (Bielaczyc & Collins, 1999)

18 CoP Participatory Method Integration of the Specific Community of Practice Individual Consultation Exchange Grouping Synthesis Dialectic Interations Presentation of Results (Velazquez-Guzman & Laura-Rosano, 2012)

19 BE VOCAL – Successful Online Instructors Visible Social Presence reduces student anxieties Organized “Bullet proof” assignments and instructions Compassionate Give students permission to communicate directly with you Analytical Manage the learning environment Leader-by-Example Model best practices and being professional (Savery, 2010)

20 Our Sample and Process A convenience sample of 11 experienced online distance educators representing at least 6 different institutions. Average online teaching experience was 8 years. Interviewed past data saturation. Most instructors (7) did not use SN in class. Of the 4 who did, 1 made very limited use of SN. Used semi-structured interviews of 14 questions taking minutes.

21 SN Positives Instructors using SN in classes keep it clearly defined and closely related to course work. When integrated in classes, SN helped students: Identify with the community as a course of study. Increased their comfort with the classroom. Sometimes increased their satisfaction with a class. Sometimes contributed to communications in class.

22 SN Negatives Most SN occurs outside of class. Even when Instructors carefully use SN in classes: It can be a distraction (sometimes a major one). It can counter the other instructional design and facilitation. It can disrupt the effort to create educationally worthwhile learning outcomes

23 Our Conclusion: SN not Ready for Prime Time in DL Few Instructors (27%) currently use SN in their classes. Instructors and students valued the promise of SN for: Clarification, information, and quick contact with the student. Most instructors (91%) were skeptical about using SN more generally in classes fearing it would not support learning outcomes.

24 Meaningful Guidance We found Sull’s (2010) Secrets of Successful Distance Learning Instructors a concise summary of many elements identified by our interviewees as reflecting the ways they evaluated the value of SN in their classes. Even though not all of Sull’s secrets are directly applicable to SN, they are worth briefly reviewing.

25 Secrets of Successful DL Instructors - 1 Be Consistent, Timely, and Upbeat presence in the class. Gather Websites – Both you and the Students Use Puzzles, games, and Fun Problems to cement the subject Take a Deep-Plunge into Audio-Visual Be sure Students Use your Distance-Learning Tutor Fully Introduce Students to the DL Library (Sull, 2010)

26 Secrets of Successful DL Instructors - 2 Create a Thorough Template Bank Take a “Reality-Based” Educational Approach Never only do Minimum Requirements Provide Detailed Feedback on Student Assignments Be Proactive Anticipating Problems and Concerns Stay Organized and Wisely Manage Your Time (Sull, 2010)

27 Summary of Social Media and Community of Interests In Distance Learning ProsCons Educational tool to be leveraged Enhances student engagement Improves communications among students and teachers Helps prepare students for employment Social Media can be a distraction Cyberbullying occurs Discourages face-to-face communications

28 Invitation We invite your comments and discussion.

29 Thank You Contact Information Kelley A. Conrad, 402 Genesee Street, Apt. 201, Delafield, WI Phone: Mary J. Weber, 3512 Highland Center, Green Bay, WI Phone:


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