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Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Kirsi Silius, Meri Kailanto & Anne-Maritta Tervakari Hypermedia Laboratory ITK’12 19.4.2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Kirsi Silius, Meri Kailanto & Anne-Maritta Tervakari Hypermedia Laboratory ITK’12 19.4.2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Kirsi Silius, Meri Kailanto & Anne-Maritta Tervakari Hypermedia Laboratory ITK’

2 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Introduction Social media in higher education –With social media users can contribute content, change opinions and create communities for different needs –Students are getting interested in the possibilities of social media (also in an educational context) –Informal way of communication and co-operation for studying purposes and freetime Research questions –What makes the social media in an educational context of high quality? What are the most critical features? –What students want when it comes to social media enhanced learning systems? 2

3 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 3 Background of the research Hypermedia students, early adopters TUT Circle, social networking site at TUTTUT Circle Three phases 1.WeSQu evaluation tool and quality criteria for social media (Kailanto, 2009) 2.Pleasant charasteristics of social enhanced learning systems & Students’ motivations for using Social Enhanced learning systems, Case: TUT Circle (Silius et al. 2010, Annala et al. 2011) 3.Most and least important features in social media in an educational context

4 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 4 1. phase: WeSQu evaluation tool and quality criteria for social media WeSQu evaluation tool (in finnish)WeSQu –Based on a former ARVO- tool, content updated and social media features updated through literature survey, over 400 questions in total –evaluation processevaluation process –example image on the usage of the toolexample image Quality criteria in social media, categories :categories – Security and privacy – Motivating the user – Reliability of information and users – Classification and management of information – Accessibility (Kailanto 2009)

5 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context

6 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 6 2. phase: What motivates students Pleasant characteristics of social enhanced learning systems (students, spring 2009) –Added value should be clear –Quality depends on the community with in the system –Focus on –networking and social interaction –university related information sharing –Study support –Connecting users with similar interests (user profile) –Free and voluntary –Good usability, accessibility and technical sustainability –Visually pleasant and trendy What motivates student to use social media enhanced learning systems in higher education (Case: TUT Circle) – New features should be added bit by bit (simple system for new users) – Suitable for promoting events for students – Possibility to choose what information to put to the profile – Follow friends’ events, content and profile – about new features and content and content feeds in a user dashboard – Like/dislike content –feature, listings of most popular content, users and actions – RSS feeds – Possibility for anonymity (Silius et al. 2010, Annala et al. 2011)

7 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 7 3. phase: Most and least important features (1/2) Research frame: –Students were given a list of 89 features gathered from previous phases –they chose ten most and least important features (40 answerers) –Open ended questions about scope and additional features needed

8 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Most important Easy to use Possibility to communicate and collaborate with other users Privacy and security issues 3. phase: Most and least important features (2/2) Least important Trendy to use Reliability of users/content Additional features –Rewarding active users publicly – feeds –Geographical information

9 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 9 3. phase: additional features succested Comparing state of learning compared to general learning goals Connecting to other users with same interests or doing same excersizes Creating students groups for study purposes Interaction with other social media services Easy to follow user’s own history (comments, excersizes)

10 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 10 Conclusion & Discussion Students attitudes towards social media has changed during these projects –Students wish to use social media more in the studying context not just connecting with their friends –They are increasingly requiring web based tools for studying as well as freely accessible course materials Ease of use, added value, supporting communication, collaboration and networking –connect students with similar interest –creating content together Privacy and security is important for technical students –Control over information, secure connections, allowing anonymity if possible –Increased knowledge because of the study field and recent news

11 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context 11 Future challenges and research interests How to support students in their learning processes through social media How to evaluate the pedagogical aspects What about students in non-technical fields, what are their interests and attitudes towards social media enhanced learning systems? Are there more special educational features that should be taken into account in WeSQu evaluation tool

12 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context Thank you! Contact information Kirsi Silius, Meri Kailanto, Anne-Maritta Tervakari, Hypermedia Laboratory

13 IEEE Educon 2011, Amman, Jordan Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context List of references J. Annala, M. Mäkinen, P. Svärd, K. Silius and T. Miilumäki, “Social online environment in promoting engagement in higher education,” SLS journal - Studies for the Learning Society Available online:www.versita.com/slswww.versita.com/sls M. Kailanto, ”Yhteisöllisten verkkopalveluiden laadukkuuskriteerit (Quality Criteria in Social Media),” Master’s Thesis. Tampere University of Technology, K. Silius, T. Miilumäki, J. Huhtamäki, T. Tebest, J. Meriläinen and S. Pohjolainen, ”Students’ Motivations for Social Media Enhanced Studying and Learning,” in Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), the Special Issue on ”Technology Enhanced Learning”, vol. 2, no. 1, Mar K. Silius, M. Kailanto & A.-M.Tervakari “Evaluating the Quality of Social Media in an Educational Context.” International Journal of Emerging technologies in Learning, vol. 6, issue 3, Available online:


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