Week 10 – IDT 875 Discussion – Social Media and Online Learning Environments

This week we were tasked with reading through some research that discussed the use of Facebook as a facilitation device for an online instructional experience.

Keles, E. (2018). Use of Facebook for the Community Services Practices course: Community of inquiry as a theoretical framework. Computers and Education, 116, 203–224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2017.09.003

Question 1: share something you found interesting about this week’s reading and discuss how it may help you with your practice and research related to IDT.

The element I found most interesting about the article was the concept of Community of Inquiry. The term Community of Practice is fairly commonplace so initially I thought the Col framework was essentially the same concept. But that is not necessarily so, the aim of the CoI framework is to develop an effective learning community to ensure and support actual learning (Akyol, Garrison, & Ozden, 2009), and was predominantly developed for higher education learning with asynchronous and text-based group discussions in being the primary focus. I like the differentiation between Col and Cop (Practice), in that the inclusion of the word inquiry indicates to me an inherent openminded new to new thoughts and understandings, rather than acquiring best practices and such. I think there is a collective engagement here that is not necessarily indicated within a community of practice.

The three parts of Col; social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence are two an interesting framework; especially when considering the use of social networks in education, but I think the application into other environments, like instructor led training, apply as well. After all, in person instruction is inherently social because you are physically at a location interacting directly with another human.

I wonder if this framework could more or less be used in terms of assisting in the building of meaningful learning experiences. What if in the design of a course or lesson the instructor used teaching presence to first provided direct instruction on the curriculum and shared some personally meaningful experience with subject matter, I think this might emphasize some of the social presence elements like open communication and risk-free expression because the instructor used that methodology in even describing the curriculum of the course, more or less “setting the stage.” The instructor could then slide into some of the cognitive presence elements by exploring the experiences the learners already have with the subject matter or why they took the course. This indicates and information exchange and it also could reveal the schemas that learners have already developed, thus helping the instructor further encourage collaboration, the collection of idea, and focusing discussion topics.

Question 2: Consider yourself in a stakeholder’s role (instructor, learner, instructional designer, online mentor, admin support, technical support, etc.) and discuss what you may do to help build a sucessful online learning community.

In the discussion section of the article this week the first element the researchers bring up in suggestions is the following:

Teachers and prospective teachers in various disciplines should be trained regarding the potential contributions of SNSs in education. However, to be able to use SNSs effectively in formal education contexts, the scope of the course and the characteristics of the social network should be, above all, congruent.

Congruent I feel is the appropriate term here because social media network’s designs vary of upon the targeted audience, and while FB inherently includes a mixture of text, audio, and video media along with the ability to like and share with reciprocal content or gestures it does not preclude that all social media networks will have the same list of features, and thus the list must be congruent with the tasks that are expected to be accomplished during the academic experience.

Because of this I think for the task I’ll choose to be the online mentor. Ways that I could help ensure a successful online community is by creating short mentor videos on best way to share content and use the tools available in the online community. Then as the course is proceeding I could post some quick tips that could encourage further use of tools to better the learning experience, or address pain points that where identified by the learners.

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