Sowing seeds for a Bumper Harvest: An example of students as co-creators

  #SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner? Kerry Sorby, Maria Parks, Jess Olsen-Wells and Josh Makuch (York St John University) share the experiences of both staff and students involved in a project developing programme led media platforms to encourage staff and students to engage with social media together. Considering the benefits, challenges and opportunities, they evaluate the impact…

WeLearn: the application of WeChat to empower social learning during a year abroad

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Duo Luan (University of Wales) and Simon Horrocks (Open University) consider the benefits and challenges of using social media to support students during a year abroad, for language and other programmes. Discussing the implications for social learning design which may be transferable into other contexts where students and staff in higher education are part of distributed learning communities, using research and examples from a WeChat group established to support students undertaking a year of study in China in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Digital Socialisation in Social Work education: Bridging the knowledge gaps

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Amanda Taylor (University of Central Lancashire) provides an overview of a current research project which aims to investigate how technologies are being exploited within social work education for the digital socialisation of student social workers in preparation for practice. How equipped do students feel on qualification to navigate a practice landscape that is embroiled, shaped and influenced by the technological age?

Empowering student learning through the development of a social media community

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Dr Thomas Lancaster (Staffordshire University) discusses the use of social media to develop an empowered community of students looking to enhance their learning beyond that of their peers. A student hackathon social media community formed at a UK university during the 2015-2016 academic year is used to provide illustrative examples.

Social media as a critical future learning space

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Andrew Middleton (Head of Academic Practice and Learning Innovation) positions social media as a critical component of a new connected and hybrid learning space in which personal and personalised media establish a platform of self-defined learning space in which learning and teaching takes new forms. Considering alternative user-driven, learner-centred spaces, as well as changing behaviours in more conventional spaces.

Understanding lurkers in online learning communities

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Sarah Honeychurch (University of Glasgow) summarise the results of ongoing research about lurker motivations in one open online course, where Twitter was one of the main platforms for learner participation (#CLMooc). Focussing on what lurkers actually do and arguing that, contrary to popular belief, lurking can be a positive action that empowers independent learners, Sarah begins by sharing social network analysis (SNA) of #CLMooc tweets and explains how this was used to identify and contact potential lurkers. She then discusses the findings from interviews with lurkers explaining how these are used to refine models in the current literature.

The role of social media as a learning support system in project based learning

#SocMedHE16 – The Empowered Learner?

Sue Beckingham (Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences) shares the outcomes of research undertaken with both undergraduate and postgraduate students, who have been introduced to the digital toolkit to support project based learning. Also covered, how the toolkit was established, exemplars of its use in practice and feedback from the students who have been involved.

Upcoming Event: Early bird booking is open for #SocMedHE16 Conference

22nd August 2016

With social media, we have an array of simple and powerful tools that help us think creatively and critically about learner empowerment. It is time for us to better understand the potential of social media to change the learning experience of students and academics in higher education. Are we empowering students by adopting and adapting social, open, mobile and networked learning and media? How critically are we shaping the opportunity that is emerging? How sure are we that the social, open and networked space, with all of the autonomy it suggests, is good for our students?