Title: Social media for education : a toolkit for supporting instructors in higher education enriching their teaching with social media
Authors : Rapp, Christian
Gulbahar, Yasemin
Erlemann, Jennifer
Conference details: Social Media & Society Conference, Toronto, Canada, 27 to 28 September 2014
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University
Issue Date: 2014
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 378: Higher education
Abstract: Background: In an EU FP7 ERANET-RUS project we analysed the status quo and the potential of social media for teaching, learning, and research in higher education in the participating countries (mixed-methods approach: interviews/focus groups (n=213), online teaching style survey (n=39) using exploratory factor analysis, and development of a social media strategy for educational purposes in higher education). Potential benefits of social media usage for teaching, learning, and research in higher education were confirmed. However, many instructors find it difficult to integrate the subject they want to teach, the instructional design, and technology. Consequently, based on the research results, a social media toolkit for education, targeted at instructors in higher education, was developed and programmed. This paper aims to present the technical concept and evolution of the social media toolkit. It will demonstrate what requirements were derived based on the research and how they were derived; what internationalisation issues had to be addressed; what frameworks were chosen; and what functionalities were implemented. In the presentation, we will show the technology (front-end, back-end), and you will be able to use and test it. User entries will be visualised in nearly real time. Methods: We used standard (PMI variant) (Spitczok von Brisinski, Vollmer, Weber-Schäumler, 2014) as well as agile (Scrum) methodologies of software development. The platform is driven by a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and was developed with the PHP-based framework yii, which follows strict design patterns for object-oriented programming and the principles of model-view-controller. Further, jQuery and Ajax are used for client-side functionalities. An API integrating MySQL data into Google Spreadsheets is used for visualisation and statistical analysis of user data. Results: The social media toolkit is targeted at higher education instructors who want to enrich their teaching with social media. The process of selecting the most suitable social media class involves several steps. (1) Instructors are welcomed on the site where we explain the offer to them. (2) They are asked four questions so we can analyse their teaching situation. We ask the instructors about (a) their learning goals (Anderson et al., 2000; Bloom, 1956), (b) content to be used in their lectures (Bower, Hedberg, Kuswara, 2010; McLoughlin, Lee, 2007; OECD, 2007; Safko, 2012), (c) instructional methods to be used (Arends, 2011; Borich, 2013; Burden, Byrd, 2013), and (d) intended assessment type (Garrison; Ehringhaus, 2007; Pressley; McCormick, 2007). Based on the decision matrix/algorithm, (3) the most suitable class of social media services is suggested. Finally, (4) instructional tips are given to the instructors on how to use the suggested social media class in teaching. A back-end provides support for translation into other languages and allows editing, adding, and deleting questions, as well as relations among items and output via a GUI. Conclusions: In this paper, we presented the technical basis for the toolkit, which, hopefully, will support higher education instructors who want to enrich their teaching activities by incorporating social media services. This toolkit is in its preliminary stages and will probably be modified and enhanced through user feedback.
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (ZID)
Publication type: Conference Poster
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/14817
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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