Article

Learning together: using social media to foster collaboration in higher education

Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education 01/2011; 2:105-126. DOI: 10.1108/S2044-9968(2011)0000002009

ABSTRACT This chapter focuses on how social media tools can be used to enhance collaboration in higher education and the benefits and challenges that this can bring. We investigate how two social media tools, social bookmarking, and microblogging, can be utilized to foster collaboration and determine why this is important in contemporary higher education. Case studies of social media use at Bournemouth University show how social bookmarking and microblogging have already yielded benefits.The case studies are grounded in the challenges facing higher education in 2010. We explore how social media has been used in the context of a need to enhance academic excellence and drive efficiencies in the face of funding constraints and changing demographics.The case studies illustrate, first, how social bookmarking has been used to foster group cohesion, reflective practice, and evaluative skills in students, as well as being used at an institutional level to drive professional and administrative efficiencies; and second, how microblogging has made a difference in promoting reflective learning, group cohesion, and professional awareness in students and how this style of social networking has contributed to enhancing academic and professional networks.Whilst the tools, uses, and stakeholders vary, the case studies show how social media has enabled collaboration between, students, academics, librarians, learning technologists, and even professional groups beyond the institution. We conclude that, when used appropriately, social media can facilitate the collaboration that will be essential to overcome the challenges facing higher education.

1 Bookmark
 · 
107 Views
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted in this study to examine the adoption of the Web 2.0 technology in information literacy instruction. Findings suggest that librarians use Web 2.0 tools in three different levels, and overall it has a positive impact on teaching and learning.
    The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 01/2010;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article introduces collaborative learning models based on sociocultural learning theories and discusses their potential for developing more effective learning opportunities in information literacy teaching. As described in the research of Vygotsky and other theoreticians, sociocultural learning theories are learner-centered and provide insight into collaborative approaches to student learning. These theories take into account the social and cultural aspects of acquiring knowledge. Collaborative learning, as outlined in the literature review, is an effective means of increasing student achievement and cognitive development. Research also shows that in a community-of-learners, a learner's potential performance level is increased. In the last section of this article, several collaborative learning models are introduced: the jigsaw model, the reciprocal model, and collaborative peer groups, including problem-and resource-based learning. These models are then applied to information literacy teaching to demonstrate how collaborative learning approaches enhance the teaching. At the end, a comparison of the traditional library classroom and the community-of-learners environment is introduced; the article concludes that the information literacy community-of-learners is an effective learning environment to improve student learning.
    Reference & User Services Quarterly - REF USER SERV Q. 01/2007; 47(2):149-158.