Can social media enhance the MOOC experience?

Researchers say ‘yes,’ but only when taking into consideration 3 key issues.

Though social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are extremely popular for communication and collaboration—even among academics—when applied to online learning, course designers must understand that providing more options for communication without integration is not always best.

This is the main finding of a recent study conducted by academics in Australia that surveyed over 150 participants on their opinions of using social media as part of a 2014 MOOC for educators on designing their own online and blended teaching materials. [More on the detailed methodology can be found in the full report.] The MOOC, called “Carpe Diem” (CD), had just over 1,000 participants, a high level of engagement and completion, and included the use of hosting platform CourseSites’ LMS, as well as Twitter and Facebook for online communication and collaboration.

Outside of the structure LMS, the Facebook group moderators guided participants to ask question about the CD MOOC, seek practical help, communicate and discuss issues around work tasks, and share links to online group work and resources. Twitter was used by both the CD MOOC team and participants to share practical information and resources, while also encouraging participants to share their thoughts.…Read More

5 ways social media can improve student writing

Facebook and Twitter as dens of bad grammar? Social media can actually have positive effects on student writing

social-media-writingIdk if u hav noticed, but the writing seen on the internet and social media is not always the best example of the King’s English. However, habits built through writing on social media don’t all have to be bad—and in many ways, can help improve writing.

Aiming to save character space or time typing, proper grammar and spelling are often jettisoned in favor of commonly used acronyms and incomplete sentences which have become ingrained in the habits of the internet community at large.

However, there are several positive ways that consistent writing on social media can translate to better writing in the classroom. Of course, students would be wise to leave their incomplete sentences on Facebook and their acronyms on Twitter, or just eliminate those practices all together. Still, for a student who uses social media regularly, there are some great benefits that can positively impact their writing.…Read More

8 considerations for social networks in classrooms

Making the right technology choices is critical for student success, argue professors

social-media-classroomIn recent years, educators have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration of new and innovative technologies. It is not uncommon for educators to have differing opinions about which tools are helpful in their classrooms and which may bring unnecessary complications.

There is perhaps no better example of this disparity of opinion than the views that teachers espouse on using Social Networking Sites (SNSs), such as Facebook or Twitter, in the classroom. Although far less controversy exists in higher education than in K-12, the use of such platforms can still present challenges for students and faculty in college and university settings.

Bringing SNSs into the classroom has the potential to enhance some of the more desired elements of college classroom experiences, such as collaboration, motivation, networking, technology savvy, and expansion of content discussion beyond the classroom walls.…Read More

New: Guideline for universities on censoring social media

Students and staff beliefs on social media censorship create a guideline that may prove useful

censor-university-socialIn a problem that’s stemming from both the proliferation of social media use and campus violence, universities are considering what’s appropriate to censor on social media and what’s not, often leading to confusion and infringement of students rights. But a new guide may be able to help.

Free speech, which has always been a hot-button topic for higher education and continues to be, has never been more confusing than with the explosion of social media forums over the last five years. A confusing issue that John Rowe, academic registrar for Curtin University in Australia, thought worth an intensive study.

“All universities have been struggling to balance freedom of speech and the right to express an opinion, with reasonable expectations of responsible and respectful behavior by students, as well as the protection of staff and student well-being,” says Rowe in his study, “Student use of social media: When should the university intervene?” published by the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.…Read More

Infographic: Impact of social media in education

College students love social media, but can also find it to be a distraction in the classroom

social-media-studentsSocial media has many uses in education.

It can be used for recruitment, attracting students to a specific campus through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube. It can be used for safety, serving as network of warnings and alerts during emergencies. It can be used simply to better communicate with the student body.

But for all of social media’s benefits, some professors are still wary of the medium. According to the results of a survey of 8,000 faculty members conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, more than half of faculty use social media in a professional context, a ten percent jump from last year’s 45 percent. Slightly more than 70 percent use social media for personal purposes.…Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: Social media and recruitment

See just how influential online platforms can be for recruitment

social-media-recruitmentIt seems reasonable that the best way to attract potential students is to use the social media platforms and online tools they use the most; namely, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. However, exactly how much of an influence does social media factor into recruitment?

According to data sourced from U.S. News, ABC News, Kaplan, Noodle, and others, Online Colleges revealed 6 interesting facts about exactly how much college admissions use social media to attract today’s Millennials.

For example, did you know that 92 percent of undergraduate admissions officers agree that social media is worth the investment they make in it? Or that 85 percent of all colleges use Facebook to recruit students?…Read More

Students turn to social media to research colleges

College students are scouring social media to find out about perspective colleges more than ever, though students with the highest SAT scores took a slightly different approach to their Twitter and Facebook research when compared to their peers.

General social media use is down overall among perspective college students.

The education consulting firm Art & Science Group released the results of a study that showed 44 percent of student respondents said they had used some form of social media in their search for a college or university.

That’s more than double than 18 percent of students who used social media in their college research five years ago.

The preferred social media platforms were hardly surprising, with 36 percent of students using Twitter and Facebook, while 13 percent used Google+. A mere 7 percent used YouTube in their school searches.…Read More

The do’s and don’ts of social media in college

You may have caught wind of a story this week about a 22-year-old college senior at the University of Iowa who got arrested at her college’s football game for public intoxication and blew a .341 once she was behind bars, ChicagoNow reports.

Why is this news? Plenty of college kids (even underage ones, which this young woman was not) get drunk and get arrested for their antics. We can’t go around printing stories about all of them.

But this particular college senior happened to have a very active and public twitter account (@Vodka_samm) that bragged about the whole thing.…Read More

How social media has transformed college football recruiting

Clifton Garrett is one of the nation’s top prospects in the 2014 recruiting class, Bleacher Report reports. He’s also an enthusiastic and savvy Twitter user, having Tweeted more than 16,000 times. In that way, he’s a typical Generation Y college football recruit.   When today’s college football coaches and administrators were growing up, teenagers had to keep journals to record the daily happenings in their lives. Millennial recruits are now doing the same, only in 140-character bursts on their very public Twitter and Facebook accounts. It’s a whole new world. “Social media, on some levels, has turned into their diary,” said Kevin DeShazo, the founder of Fieldhouse Media, which specializes in training student-athletes in such skills. “It is their place to go vent, without realizing just how public that forum is.”

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Number of college applications affected by social media triples

In 2008, only 10 percent of colleges checked applicants’ Facebook pages; now, one in four do.

College applicants shouldn’t shut down their various social media accounts, experts said, but they should heavily edit their online comments, photos, and videos, as thousands of applications were marred last year by scandalous Facebook and Twitter activity.

It’s no secret that college and university admissions officers run semi-frequent social media checks of prospective students, but the practice has turned increasingly dismal for students who failed, in one way or another, to exercise Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube caution.

Admissions officers who responded to a national survey this fall said the percentage of applications that had been negatively affected by social media searches had nearly tripled, from 12 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2011.…Read More