1. bookVolume 72 (2019): Issue 1 (January 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Open Access

Social Media Networks and Community Development in Work-based Undergraduate Students

Published Online: 03 Apr 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 72 (2019) - Issue 1 (January 2019)
Page range: 5 - 23
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The purpose of the study was to explore how students on two related work-based degree courses with limited opportunities for face to face interaction used social media platforms to support their experiences and learning. The students involved work as teaching assistants in a range of mainstream and special schools in the East Midlands and attend classes one day a week. It was noted by tutors that students made frequent references to using various social media platforms for sharing student-to-student information relating to the taught sessions or assignments in preference to the university’s virtual learning environment. To investigate this phenomenon, a case study approach, using focus groups and a paired interview, was adopted. The entire student population on the courses was invited to participate, so the sample was self-selecting and a total of 11% of the students volunteered, participating in either a focus group discussion or paired interview. The study found that students made extensive use of social media platforms, mainly Facebook and Whatsapp, for academic and affective support. Students found this to be an effective way to keep in touch with one another away from university, to share resources and experiences and felt that it helped with their identity as a higher education student.

Keywords

Altbach, P., Reisberg, L., & Rumbley, L. (2010). Tracking a global academic revolution. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 42(2), 30–39.10.1080/00091381003590845 Search in Google Scholar

Andrew, N., Tolson, D., & Ferguson, D. (2008). Building on Wenger: communities of practice in nursing. School of Health Paper 105. Glasgow Caledonian University.10.1016/j.nedt.2007.05.002 Search in Google Scholar

Bayne, S., & Ross, J. (2016). Manifesto redux: making a teaching philosophy from networked learning research. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Networked Learning 2016. Search in Google Scholar

Bilgin, A.A., Rowe, A.D., & Clark, L. (2017). Academic workload implications of assessing student learning in work-integrated learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, Special Issue, 18(2), 167–183. Search in Google Scholar

Borge, M., & Goggins, S. (2014). Towards the facilitation of an online community of learners: assessing the quality of interactions in Yammer. Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS, 2, 753–760. Search in Google Scholar

British Educational Research Association (BERA) (2018). Ethical guidelines for educational research. London: British Educational Research Association. Search in Google Scholar

Brodie, P., & Irving, K. (2007). Assessment in work-based learning: investigating a pedagogical approach to enhance student learning. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(1), 11–19.10.1080/02602930600848218 Search in Google Scholar

Cansoy, R. (2017). Teachers’ Professional Development: The Case of WhatsApp. Journal of Education and Learning, 6(4), 285–293.10.5539/jel.v6n4p285 Search in Google Scholar

DeWert, M., Babinski, L., & Jones, B. (2003). Safe passages providing online support to beginning teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(4), 311–320.10.1177/0022487103255008 Search in Google Scholar

Dunbar, R. (2015). Do online social media cut through the constraints that limit the size of offline social networks? Royal Society Open Science, 3(150292).10.1098/rsos.150292 Search in Google Scholar

Egan, A. (2018). Pre-service teachers and their experiences of technology: A mixed methods Study. Doctoral thesis. Trinity College, Dublin, The University of Dublin. Search in Google Scholar

Eid, M., & Al-Jabri, I., (2016). Social networking, knowledge sharing, and student learning: The case of university students. Computers & Education, 99, 14–27.10.1016/j.compedu.2016.04.007 Search in Google Scholar

Ferguson, C., DiGiacomo, M., Saliba, B., Green, J., Moorley, C., Wyllie A., & Jackson, D. (2016). First year nursing students’ experiences of social media during the transition to university: a focus group study. Contemporary Nurse, 52(5), 625–635.10.1080/10376178.2016.1205458 Search in Google Scholar

Frey, B.B. (Ed.). (2018). The SAGE encyclopaedia of educational research, measurement and evaluation. [online] London: Sage Publications Ltd. Available from: http://methods-sagepub-com.ezproxy.northampton.ac.uk/Reference/the-sage-encyclopedia-of-educational-research-measurement-and-evaluation/i10168.xml Search in Google Scholar

Garcia, E., Elbeltagi, I., Dungay, K., & Hardaker, G. (2015). Student use of Facebook for informal learning and peer support. International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 32(5), 286–299.10.1108/IJILT-09-2015-0024 Search in Google Scholar

Garrison, D., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2003). A theory of critical inquiry into online distance learning. In M. Moore & W.G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education, (pp. 113–128). London: Lawrence Erlbaum. Search in Google Scholar

Godrich, H. (2017). Students’ design project series: Sharing experiences. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 82–88.10.1109/MSP.2016.2620157 Search in Google Scholar

Gray, C. (2015). Designing online education for work-based learners: Refining bite sized learning. Doctoral Thesis, Abertay University. Search in Google Scholar

Greenhow, C., & Lewin, C. (2016). Social media and education: reconceptualizing the boundaries of formal and informal learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(1), 6–30.10.1080/17439884.2015.1064954 Search in Google Scholar

Hamilton, R. (2017). Work-based Learning Routes in Social Work Education: An Exploration of Student Experiences. PhD thesis. The Open University. Search in Google Scholar

Haythornthwaite, C. (2001). Exploring multiplexity: Social network structures in a computer supported distance learning class. The Information Society, 17, 211–226.10.1080/01972240152493065 Search in Google Scholar

Haythornthwaite, C. (2019). Learning, connectivity and networks. Information and Learning Sciences, 120(1/2), 19–38. [Online]. Available from: DOI 10.1108/ILS-06-2018-0052. Search in Google Scholar

Haythornthwaite, C., Kazmer, M., Robins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 6(1).10.1111/j.1083-6101.2000.tb00114.x Search in Google Scholar

Hoffman, E.A. (2006). ‘The importance of place: Using local-focus videos to spark the sociological imagination. Teaching Sociology, 34, 164–172.10.1177/0092055X0603400207 Search in Google Scholar

House, J.S. (1981). Work stress and social support. Reading, MA, USA: Addison-Wesley Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.007 (accessed: November 21, 2019).10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.007 Search in Google Scholar

Irwin, C., Ball, L., Desbrow, B., & Leveritt, M. (2012), Students’ perceptions of using Facebook as an interactive learning resource at university. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(7), 1221–1232.10.14742/ajet.798 Search in Google Scholar

Jones, C., & Healing, G. (2010). Net generation students: agency and choice and new technologies. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5), 344–356.10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00370.x Search in Google Scholar

Junco, R. (2015). Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 18–29.10.1016/j.appdev.2014.11.001 Search in Google Scholar

Kearns, L.R., & Frey, B.A. (2010). Web 2.0 Technologies and Back Channel Communication in an Online Learning Community. Techtrends, 54, 41. Search in Google Scholar

Kelly, N., & Antonio, A. (2016). Teacher peer support in social network sites. Teaching and Teacher Education, 56, 138–149.10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.007 Search in Google Scholar

Kelly, N. (2019). Online networks in teacher education. In T. Allen (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopaedia of education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Kupferberg, F. (2004). Professional communities and the life history method: A critique of the Lave-Wenger paradigm of learning. A Paper presented at the ESREA-Conference in Roskilde, March 4–7, 2004. Search in Google Scholar

Lewis, K.O., McVay-Dyche, J., Chen, H., & Seto, T.L. (2015). Examining Sense of Community among Medical Professionals in an Online Graduate Program. Journal of Educators Online, 12(1), 1–29.10.9743/JEO.2015.1.8 Search in Google Scholar

Macià, M., & García, I. (2016). Informal online communities and networks as a source of teacher professional development: A review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55, 291–307.10.1016/j.tate.2016.01.021 Search in Google Scholar

Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘it is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141–155.10.1080/17439880902923606 Search in Google Scholar

Mann, S. (2016). The research interview. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.10.1057/9781137353368 Search in Google Scholar

Masika, R., & Jones, J. (2015) Building student belonging and engagement: insights into higher education students’ experiences of participating and learning together. Teaching in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives, 21(2), 138–150. Search in Google Scholar

Mercieca, B., & Kelly, N. (2018). Early career teacher peer support through private groups in social media. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 46(1), 61–77.10.1080/1359866X.2017.1312282 Search in Google Scholar

Morley, D. (Ed.). (2018). Enhancing employability in Higher Education through work-based learning. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Search in Google Scholar

Morosanu, L., Handley, K., & O’Donovan, B. (2010). Seeking support: researching first-year students’ experiences of coping with academic life. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(6), 665–678.10.1080/07294360.2010.487200 Search in Google Scholar

Munoz, C., & Towner, T. (2011). Back to the ‘wall’: Facebook in the college classroom. Firstmonday.org Search in Google Scholar

O’Keeffe, M. (2016). Exploring higher education professionals’ use of Twitter for learning. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(1), 1–16.10.22554/ijtel.v2i1.11 Search in Google Scholar

O’Leary, Z. (2017). The essential guide to doing your research project (3rd ed.). London: Sage. Search in Google Scholar

Owen, C. (2017). Surveys. In J. Swain (Ed.), Designing research in education, (pp. 123–147). London: Sage. Search in Google Scholar

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital immigrants, digital natives. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–6.10.1108/10748120110424816 Search in Google Scholar

Prescott, J., Wilson, S., & Becket, G. (2013). Facebook use in the learning environment: Do students want this? Learning, Media and Technology, 38(3), 345–350.10.1080/17439884.2013.788027 Search in Google Scholar

Purvis, A., Rodger, H., & Beckingham, S. (2016). Engagement or distraction: The use of social media for learning in higher education. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 5(1). [Online] ISSN 2047-9476. Search in Google Scholar

Shackelford, J., & Maxwell, M. (2012). Sense of community in graduate online education: Contribution of learner to learner interaction. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(4), 228–249.10.19173/irrodl.v13i4.1339 Search in Google Scholar

Stepich, D., & Ertmer, P. (2003). Building community as a critical element of online course design. Educational Technology, 43(5), 33–43. Search in Google Scholar

Stone, S., & Logan, A. (2018). Exploring students’ use of the social networking site WhatsApp to foster connectedness in the online learning experience. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 42–55.10.22554/ijtel.v3i1.28 Search in Google Scholar

Tapscott, D. (2009). Grown up digital: how the Net Generation is changing your world. New York: McGraw-Hill. Search in Google Scholar

Thomas, E. (2012). Building student engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change: final report from the What Works? Student Retention & Success programme. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Search in Google Scholar

Tschofen, C., & Mackness, J. (2012). Connectivism and dimensions of individual experience. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(1), 124–143.10.19173/irrodl.v13i1.1143 Search in Google Scholar

Turner, V. (1969). Liminality and communitas, in the ritual process: structure and anti-structure. Chicago: Aldine. Search in Google Scholar

Urry, J. (2000). Sociology beyond societies: mobilities for the twenty-first Century. London: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Uusiautti, S., & Määttä, K. (2014). I am no longer alone – How do university students perceive the possibilities of social media? International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 19(3), 293–305.10.1080/02673843.2014.919600 Search in Google Scholar

Walliman, N. (2005). Your research project: a step by step guide for the first time researcher (2nd ed.). London: Sage. Search in Google Scholar

Walliman, N. (2018). Research methods: the basics (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Wenger, E., White, N., & Smith, J.D. (2009). Digital habitats: Stewarding technology for communities. Portland, OR: CPsquare. Search in Google Scholar

Wilcox, P., Winn, S., & Fyvie-Gauld, M. (2005). ’It was nothing to do with the university, it was just the people’: the role of social support in the first-year experience of higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 30(6), 707–722.10.1080/03075070500340036 Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo