EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
Developing an Educational Intervention with Social Media to Enhance the
Digital Competence of Student-Teachers
Author(s):Francesc M. Esteve-Mon (presenting), Emilio Peña-Martínez (presenting), Jordi Adell-Segura
Network:16. ICT in Education and Training
Format:10. Teacher Education Research
16 SES 06 B, Social Media
Developing an Educational Intervention with Social Media to Enhance the Digital Competence
Teachers need to be prepared to use ICT and provide technology-supported learning opportunities for their students
(UNESCO, 2011). The set of knowledge and skills needed for these activities has also been called teachers’ digital
Digital competence is regarded as a key competence for lifelong learning. The European Parliament and Council deﬁne the
competence as involving the conﬁdent and critical use of Information Society Technology for work, leisure and
communication (European Commission, 2007). According Larraz and Esteve-Mon (2015), digital competence is
multidimensional and involves the integration of cognitive, relational and social abilities that we have grouped in four
literacies: (a) Informational literacy: management of digital information; (b) Technological literacy: treatment of data in
various formats; (c) Multimedia literacy: analysis and creation of multimedia messages; and (d) Communicative literacy:
participation, public spirit and digital identity.
However, primary and secondary school teachers require not only basic digital literacy; they also need to be able to
incorporate technology into their teaching praxis (Krumsvik, 2012). Digital competence needed by teachers has two
dimensions: (a) mobilize knowledge, abilities, and attitudes to use ICT eﬃciently and (b) improve and transform classroom
practices and enrich the professional development and identity of both teachers and students (Hall, Atkins, & Fraser, 2012).
And, to guide the process of training and evaluation of the digital competence of current and future teachers, various
administrations and institutions have developed their own frameworks for performance standards and indicators (Esteve-
Despite the importance of this competence, diﬀerent studies show that student-teachers do not always achieve an
appropriate level during their training period (Gutiérrez et al., 2010), and it is necessary to rethink the training programs to
improve the development of student-teachers’ digital competence.
In the last 10 years, several advanced technological environments have appeared that are especially suited to the
development and evaluation of competences (Redecker, 2013). Among ICT services oﬀered by educational institutions, are
learning management system (LMS) -such as Moodle, Blackboard or Sakai- which make available their community a set of
online tools such as content repositories, forums, mail, assignments, etc.
However, outside of these closed and controlled environments, the Internet provides platforms like social networks with a
range of possibilities more in line with current trends and professional skills. According Dohn & Dohn (2017), Web 2.0 might
promote potentially richer opportunities to make learning more personally meaningful, collaborative, and socially relevant.
These activities may establish connections between the out-of-school self-directed leisure of students on social networking
sites. The integration of both environments poses the dilemma of opening, which although could bring positive things, also
makes a great not only technological but educational and evaluation challenge (Hew & Cheung, 2013).
The main objectives of this project are to: (1) Design a technological tool to integrate the activity of social networks with the
institutional LMS; (2) Develop educational activities with social media for developing student-teachers’ digital competence;
and (3) Evaluate the student-teachers’ digital competence.
The following research questions are posed as a guide for our research work:
RQ1. Is the development of educational intervention technically feasible?
RQ2. What were the students’ perceptions about the usability of the educational intervention with social media?
RQ3. What was student-teachers' digital competence self-perception at the end of the process?
The study, conducted between 2015 and early 2017, comprised three iterations for the reﬁnement educational intervention,
with diﬀerent instruments, participants, and data collection procedures.
Design-Based Research (DBR) is the methodology selected for this project, given its suitability and convenience. Research
studies on educational design pose a systematic process of design, development and evaluation of a particular educational
programs or materials, often related to technology as a solution to a complex problem and to generate a series of design
principles (van den Akker et al., 2006). This research process follows a structure in phases and is cyclical. It is a process of
analysis, design, evaluation and revision of prototypes, which is repeated until the stated objective is accomplished (Plomp &
To collect the information generated in the various iterative cycles, the researchers used the following instruments:
Interview. Formal interviews were conducted to evaluate content accuracy and technological usability of the ﬁrst prototype.
Five experts were asked about these aspects.
Pedagogical usefulness questionnaire. The second prototype was tested to a sample of 10 students of the Educational
Technology Master Degree. It was analysed with this questionnaire adapted from Esteve-Mon, Cela-Ranilla and Gisbert-
Cervera (2016). It has a Likert scale, where 1 completely disagree and 5 completely agree.
Digital Competence self-perception questionnaire. The third prototype was administered during a full academic semester
and evaluated from this questionnaire. It has 20 items with a Likert scale of 1 to 5, where 1 not proﬁcient at all and 5 highly
proﬁcient. The questionnaire was constructed in accordance with Larraz indicators (Larraz, 2012), validated by a sample of
experts, and tested for reliability (alpha .91). It was applied to a sample of 230 university students from (84% females and
16% males) from the second (45%) and the third year (55%) of Teacher Training Degree.
Social media observation. Tag2Learn tool allows you to integrate, compatible with the interoperability standard IMS-LTI,
social networks and learning management system to manage and evaluate continuously and formatively work done by
students in social networks and facilitating the generation of design principles that can applied in various educational
methodologies (Peña-Martínez, 2016). Researchers observed social media activities through semester. The tool
automatically recorded all interactions, and the researchers analysed the characteristics and qualities of the educational
content as it was developed by student-teachers.
This process generated three main outcomes: (a) a technological tool to manage and evaluate continuously and formatively
the work done by students in social networks through elearning platforms; (b) the evaluation of pre-service teachers’ digital
competence; and (c) design principles that can be applied in similar research.
At the technological level, the tool is functional. It allows managing and evaluating in a continuous and formative way the
work done by students in the social media networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Vine or Youtube) through LMS platforms
compatible with the LTI protocol (Moodle, Sakai or Blackboard).
Regarding the second output, the participants received quite high scores for their digital competence with 3.56 of mean on
scale of 1 to 5. Communicative (mean = 3.71) and Multimedia (mean = 3.66) dimensions obtained higher scores, whereas
Informational (mean = 3.59) and especially Technological dimension (m= 3.28) obtained the lowest. Following the approach
of teacher educators’ digital competence by Krumsvik (2012), this seems to indicate that the pre-service teachers had an
acceptable level in basic digital skills, especially related with social and media skills.
As we have seen in this study, social media allows creating new learning possibilities to enhance instruction and learning
(Tess, 2013). In line with the recommendations of Dohn & Dohn (2017), social media allows for providing a variety of
evidences to make accurate observations of student-teachers’ digital competence.
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Francesc M. Esteve-Mon (presenting)
Universitat Jaume I