Student Learning Through Social Media
Recent years have witnessed an increased interest in using social media/social learning with online courses. Many students value the social aspects of their university education and hesitate to take online courses thinking them to be devoid of socialization. On the other hand questions have arisen with regard to privacy and instruction into the social dimension of students. This study examined the following questions: 1) Does social media and social learning promotes educational opportunities for improved student understanding? 2) Do students view social media as an asset to courses – does it enhance understanding and keep student engaged? 3) What do university students see as problems with the use of social media? An online survey was developed consisting of 34 questions relating to the demographics of the sampled 1376 university students and questions relating to the previously mentioned questions. Percentages, t-tests, and correlations were analyzed. Results found subtle nuances and interesting trends (as well as further questions), but overall the results indicated positive attitudes and confirm the value of using social media/social learning in online courses. The findings of the study also suggest implications for teaching improvement with online courses at the university level.
Keywords: Social media, Academics, FaceBook, collaboration, higher education
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