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Using Social Media to Enhance Learning through Collaboration in Higher Education: A Case Study

Author

Listed:
  • Wolf, Marianne McGarry
  • Wolf, Mitchell J.
  • Frawley, Tom
  • Torres, Ann
  • Wolf, Shane

Abstract

This research is a social media attitudes and usage study. It uses survey research that examines students’ evaluations of participation in an alpha test of a new social news platform, ValuePulse, at California Polytechnic State University and National University of Ireland Galway. The evaluations were used to examine the impact of using social media to deliver industry news to students on their learning about course material. ValuePulse is a social learning platform where students and professors in higher education can easily engage in real-time discussions about coursework and industry news. It provides one-click access to a virtual library of news feeds and class discussions. The library of news feeds eliminates clicking in-and-out of multiple news sources to find relevant and up to date course information. The clutter of discussions in messy email chains is also eliminated. Discussions are fully developed with no character limit. The business and agribusiness students participating in the alpha test of the new social news platform, ValuePulse, experienced learning enhancement by collaborating with classmates and discussing industry news. The students in the lower division courses perceived more benefits than the students in the upper division classes. The students perceived that they had improved critical thinking skills, written communication skills, and know more about their field of study. They indicated that reading their classmates’ comments helped them learn more. Further, they know more about the general news. Most of the students indicated that it is a good idea for professors to use ValuePulse to communicate about important information with their students and they would recommend it to their other professors. Further, ValuePulse was strongly preferred for communications about course information with professors over the existing platforms, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. It is recommended that faculty in higher education engage their students by using a social media platform that is specially designed for higher education to bring their courses up to date with current information and combine knowledge management with social media to enhance the learning of their students.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolf, Marianne McGarry & Wolf, Mitchell J. & Frawley, Tom & Torres, Ann & Wolf, Shane, 2012. "Using Social Media to Enhance Learning through Collaboration in Higher Education: A Case Study," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124597, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124597
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    Keywords

    Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;

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