Investigating the educational value of social learning networks: a quantitative analysis

Dafoulas, George ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2638-8771 and Shokri, Azam (2016) Investigating the educational value of social learning networks: a quantitative analysis. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 13 (4). pp. 305-322. ISSN 1741-5659 (doi:10.1108/ITSE-09-2016-0034)

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Abstract

The emergence of Education 2.0 enabled technology-enhanced learning, necessitating new pedagogical approaches, while e-learning has evolved into an instrumental pedagogy of collaboration through affordances of social media. Social learning networks and ubiquitous learning enabled individual and group learning through social engagement and social distribution of knowledge. Nevertheless, these developments have not been supported with extensive studies focusing on quantifying the impact of technology-enhanced learning on students’ progress and achievement. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a quantitative overview of Facebook’s influence on students’ progress can be incorporated in a proposed e-moderation model of teaching and learning.

Design/methodology/approach
The approach is based on extending Salmon’s (2003) e-moderation model, which provides an emphasis on the theoretical perspectives that support socially situated learning environments of social networks such as Facebook. The findings revealed that students’ grades were positively influenced by the complementary use of Facebook on their courses of study.

Findings
The use of a social learning network also triggered a significant increase in student participation in learning activities delivered over Facebook.

Research limitations/implications
The main research limitations were due to the fact that a single social network was chosen for conducting the experiments. Furthermore, the investigation was narrowed down to a selected range of sessions offered to college and university students as part of their course.

Originality/value
The paper’s contribution is twofold, as it offers an original set of guidelines for conducting social learning network experiments and provides valuable quantifiable findings on the educational value of such networks.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 22080
Useful Links:
Depositing User: George Dafoulas
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 12:08
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2019 16:23
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/22080

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