Pedagogical Responses to Social Software in Universities

Pedagogical Responses to Social Software in Universities

Catherine McLoughlin (Australian Catholic University, Australia) and Mark J.W. Lee (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-208-4.ch023
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Learning management systems (LMS’s) that cater for geographically dispersed learners have been widely available for a number of years, but many higher education institutions are discovering that new models of teaching and learning are required to meet the needs of a generation of learners who seek greater autonomy, connectivity, and socio-experiential learning. The advent of Web 2.0, with its expanded potential for generativity and connectivity, propels pedagogical change and opens up the debate on how people conceptualize the dynamics of student learning. This chapter explores how such disruptive forces, fuelled by the affordances of social software tools, are challenging and redefining scholarship and pedagogy, and the accompanying need for learners to develop advanced digital literacy skills in preparation for work and life in the networked society. In response to these challenges, the authors propose a pedagogical framework, Pedagogy 2.0, which addresses the themes of participation in networked communities of learning, personalization of the learning experience, and learner productivity in the form of knowledge building and creativity.
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How Social Software Tools Impact On Learning And Ways Of Knowing

The affordances of Web 2.0 are now making learner-centered education a reality, with collaborative writing tools (wikis, Google Docs & Spreadsheets), media sharing applications (Flickr, YouTube, TeacherTube), and social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Ning) capable of supporting multiple communities of learning. These tools enable and encourage informal conversation, dialogue, collaborative content generation, and the sharing of information, giving learners access to a wide raft of ideas and representations of knowledge.

The attributes and affordances of the new software tools and services also make possible an expanded repertoire of online behavior, distributed collaboration, and social interaction. Mejias (2005, p. 1) observed that “… social software can positively impact pedagogy by inculcating a desire to reconnect to the world as whole, not just the social part that exists online,” referring to the isolating and decontextualized experience of much text-based traditional education. Many social software applications straddle the virtual and real social worlds, as they entail both online and offline interactions and visual/verbal connectivity. These new affordances are being harnessed for knowledge sharing, development of ideas, and creative production, while allowing for personal sense making and reflection.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Personal Learning Environment: See PLE.

User-Generated Content: A term that refers to Web-based content created by ordinary people or users, e.g. pictures posted on Flickr or encyclopedia entries written in Wikipedia. Such “Read-and-Write” applications are key characteristic of the Web 2.0 movement, which encourages the publishing of one’s own content and commenting on or augmenting other people’s. It differs from the “Read-Only” model of Web 1.0, in which Web sites were created and maintained by an elite few. See also personal publishing.

Architecture of Participation: A term that describes the nature of innovation in the open source movement, whereby individuals can share, create, and amend software, thereby participating in the creation of improved forms of software. This can help turn a good idea, tool, or application into a best-quality product as many users and developers can adapt, change, and improve it.

e-Portfolio: An electronic collection comprising self-assembled evidence demonstrating a learner’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, including learner-generated artifacts in multiple media forms that showcase both the products and processes of learning. e-Portfolios are excellent tools for facilitating students’ reflection on their own learning, as well sas serving a variety of purposes in assessment (including recognition of prior learning) within an academic course or program. Lifelong e-Portfolios are also increasingly being used for professional purposes such as certification/accreditation and career advancement (e.g. promotion).

Personal Publishing: A process in which an individual actively produces his/her own content and information and publishes it on the World Wide Web. For example, the maintenance of a personal blog as an online diary is an instance of personal publishing. See also user-generated content.

Knowledge Creation Metaphor of Learning: Unlike theories that emphasize learning as knowledge acquisition (the acquisition metaphor) and as participation in a social community (the participation metaphor), this third metaphor foucses on mediated processes of knowledge creation that have become especially important in a knowldge society. This view focuses on mediated processes of knowledge creation that have become especially important in a knowledge society.

PLE: Personal Learning Environment. A system, application, or suite of applications that assists learners in taking control of and managing their own learning. It represents an alternative approach to the LMS, which by contrast adopts an institution-centric or course-centric view of learning. Key PLE concepts include the blending of formal and informal learning, participation in social networks that transcend institutional boundaries, as well as the use of a range of networking protocols (RSS, peer-to-peer [P2P], Web services) to connect systems, resources, and users within a personally-managed space. See also LMS.

Pedagogy 2.0: Digital tools and affordances call for a new conceptualization of teaching that is focused on participation in communities and networks, personalization of learning tasks, and creative production of ideas and knowledge. McLouglin and Lee’s concept of Pedagogy 2.0 is a response to this call. It represents a set of approaches and strategies that differs from teaching as a didactic practice of passing on information; instead, it advocates a model of learning in which students are empowered to participate, communicate, and create knowledge, exercising a high level of agency and control over the learning process.

Learning Management System: See LMS.

Object-Centered Sociality: A term coined by the Finnish sociologist Jyri Engeström to describe the phenomenon whereby shared objects are the means by which people connect to each other to form social relationships and networks. According to this concept, links are created not just between people, but between people and objects, or around objects. Engeström claims that the problem with some social networking services is that they focus solely on people and links, ignoring the objects of affinity that those linked people share. He invokes the concept of “object-centered sociality” to explain how the inclusion of shared objects including but not limited to photos, URLs, and events can enhance online social networking.

Connectivism: A “learning theory for the digital age” developed by George Siemens, based on an analysis of the limitations of behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism. It employs a network with nodes and connections as a central metaphor for learning. In this metaphor, a node may be any entity, whether tangible or intangible, that is able to be connected to other nodes, including but not limited to information, data, feelings, and images. Learning is seen as the process of creating connections between nodes to form a network.

Collective Intelligence: A form of intelligence that results from the cooperation, collaboration, and/or competition of a large number of individuals. See also wisdom of crowds.

Wisdom of Crowds: A concept that relates to the aggregation of information in groups and communities of individuals. It recognizes that the innovation, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities of the group are often superior to that of any single member of the group. The term was used as the title of a book written by James Surowiecki, published in 2004. See also collective intelligence.

LMS: Learning Management System. An integrated suite of software tools designed to manage learning interventions. Commercial examples are Blackboard and WebCT, although many open source alternatives, such as Moodle and Sakai, exist. In addition to the provision of online learning content and activities and the facilitation of online assessment, LMS’s typically support a range of administrative functions including learner enrollment, workflow, records management (e.g. reporting of assessment results/outcomes), and resource management (e.g. instructors, facilities, equipment).

Student-Generated Content: Content that is produced by students, often for sharing with peers or a wider audience on the Internet, as distinct from instructor-supplied content such as course notes and textbooks. It is arguable that the main benefits to be gained from student-generated content lie in the process of content creation and knowledge construction, as opposed to the end product itself. See also user-generated content.

Prosumer: A portmanteau formed by contracting word “producer” with the word “consumer,” signifying the blurring of the distinction between the two roles in today’s knowledge economy.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Jennifer Preece
Stylianos Hatzipanagos, Steven Warburton
Chapter 1
Jon Dron, Terry Anderson
Understanding the affordances, effectiveness and applicability of new media in multiple contexts is usually a slow and evolving process with many... Sample PDF
How the Crowd Can Teach
Chapter 2
Chris Abbott, William Alder
Although social networking has been enthusiastically embraced by large numbers of children and young people, their schools and colleges have been... Sample PDF
Social Networking and Schools: Early Responses and Implications for Practice
Chapter 3
Eleni Berki, Mikko Jäkälä
Information and communication technology gradually transform virtual communities to active meeting places for sharing information and for supporting... Sample PDF
Cyber-Identities and Social Life in Cyberspace
Chapter 4
Werner Beuschel
Weblogs are a popular form of Social Software, supporting personal Web authoring as well as innovative forms of social interaction via internet. The... Sample PDF
Weblogs in Higher Education
Chapter 5
Mark Bilandzic, Marcus Foth
Web services such as wikis, blogs, podcasting, file sharing and social networking are frequently referred to by the term Web 2.0. The innovation of... Sample PDF
Social Navigation and Local Folksonomies: Technical and Design Considerations for a Mobile Information System
Chapter 6
Rakesh Biswas, Carmel M. Martin, Joachim Sturmberg, Kamalika Mukherji, Edwin Wen Huo Lee, Shashikiran Umakanth
The chapter starts from the premise that illness and healthcare are predominantly social phenomena that shape the perspectives of key stakeholders... Sample PDF
Social Cognitive Ontology and User Driven Healthcare
Chapter 7
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Central to research in social psychology is the means in which communities form, attract new members, and develop over time. Research has found that... Sample PDF
Social Identities, Group Formation, and the Analysis of Online Communities
Chapter 8
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Social and group interactions in online and virtual communities develop and evolve from expressions of human agency. The exploration of the... Sample PDF
The Emergence of Agency in Online Social Networks
Chapter 9
A. Malizia, A. De Angeli, S. Levialdi, I. Aedo Cuevas
The User Experience (UX) is a crucial factor for designing and enhancing the user satisfaction when interacting with a computational tool or with a... Sample PDF
Exploiting Collaborative Tagging Systems to Unveil the User-Experience of Web Contents: An Operative Proposal
Chapter 10
Utpal M. Dholakia, Richard Baraniuk
Open Education Programs provide a range of digitized educational resources freely to educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for... Sample PDF
The Roles of Social Networks and Communities in Open Education Programs
Chapter 11
Sebastian Fiedler, Kai Pata
This chapter discusses how the construction of an adequate design and intervention framework for distributed learning environments might be... Sample PDF
Distributed Learning Environments and Social Software: In Search for a Framework of Design
Chapter 12
Yoni Ryan, Robert Fitzgerald
This chapter considers the potential of social software to support learning in higher education. It outlines a current project funded by the then... Sample PDF
Exploring the Role of Social Software in Higher Education
Chapter 13
Kathryn Gow
This chapter focuses on the identification of a range of competencies that entry level workers, and thus graduating students, will need to acquire... Sample PDF
Identifying New Virtual Competencies for the Digital Age: Essential Tools for Entry Level Workers
Chapter 14
Jerald Hughes, Scott Robinson
This chapter examines interaction-oriented virtual religious communities online in the light of sociological theory of religious communities. The... Sample PDF
Social Structures of Online Religious Communities
Chapter 15
Helen Keegan, Bernard Lisewski
This chapter explores emergent behaviours in the use of social software across multiple online communities of practice where informal learning... Sample PDF
Living, Working, Teaching and Learning by Social Software
Chapter 16
Lucinda Kerawalla, Shailey Minocha, Gill Kirkup, Gráinne Conole
With a variety of asynchronous communication and collaboration tools and environments such as Wikis, blogs, and forums, it can be increasingly... Sample PDF
Supporting Student Blogging in Higher Education
Chapter 17
Lisa Kervin, Jessica Mantei, Anthony Herrington
This chapter examines blogging as a social networking tool to engage final year preservice teachers in reflective processes. Using a developed Web... Sample PDF
Blogs as a Social Networking Tool to Build Community
Chapter 18
Jennifer Ann Linder-VanBerschot
The objective of this chapter is to introduce a model that outlines the evolution of knowledge and sustainable innovation of community through the... Sample PDF
A Model for Knowledge and Innovation in Online Education
Chapter 19
Petros Lameras, Iraklis Paraskakis, Philipa Levy
This chapter focuses on discussing the use of social software from a social constructivist perspective. In particular, the chapter explains how... Sample PDF
Using Social Software for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Chapter 20
Dimitris Bibikas, Iraklis Paraskakis, Alexandros G. Psychogios, Ana C. Vasconcelos
The aim of this chapter is to investigate the potential role of social software inside business settings in integrating knowledge exploitation and... Sample PDF
The Potential of Enterprise Social Software in Integrating Exploitative and Explorative Knowledge Strategies
Chapter 21
M. C. Pettenati, M. E. Cigognini, E. M.C. Guerin, G. R. Mangione
In this chapter the authors identify the Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) pre-dispositions, skills and competences of the current effective... Sample PDF
Personal Knowledge Management Skills for Lifelong-Learners 2.0
Chapter 22
Sharon Markless, David Streatfield
This chapter questions whether the shift from the Web as a vehicle for storing and transmitting information to the new Web as a series of social... Sample PDF
Reconceptualising Information Literacy for the Web 2.0 Environment?
Chapter 23
Catherine McLoughlin, Mark J.W. Lee
Learning management systems (LMS’s) that cater for geographically dispersed learners have been widely available for a number of years, but many... Sample PDF
Pedagogical Responses to Social Software in Universities
Chapter 24
Alexandra Okada, Simon Buckingham Shum, Michelle Bachler, Eleftheria Tomadaki, Peter Scott, Alex Little, Marc Eisenstadt
The aim of this chapter is to overview the ways in which knowledge media technologies create opportunities for social learning. The Open Content... Sample PDF
Knowledge Media Tools to Foster Social Learning
Chapter 25
Luc Pauwels, Patricia Hellriegel
This chapter looks into YouTube as one of the most popular Social Software platforms, challenging the dominant discourse with its focus on community... Sample PDF
A Critical Cultural Reading of "YouTube"
Chapter 26
Ismael Peña-López
The author of this chapter proposes the concept of the Personal Research Portal (PRP) – a mesh of social software applications to manage knowledge... Sample PDF
The Personal Research Portal
Chapter 27
Andrew Ravenscroft, Musbah Sagar, Enzian Baur, Peter Oriogun
This chapter will present a new approach to designing learning interactions and experiences that reconciles relatively stable learning processes... Sample PDF
Ambient Pedagogies, Meaningful Learning and Social Software
Chapter 28
V. Sachdev, S. Nerur, J. T.C. Teng
With the trend towards social interaction over the Internet and the mushrooming of Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube in the social... Sample PDF
Interactivity Redefined for the Social Web
Chapter 29
Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Perril, Kate Pullinger
Transliteracy might provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the 21st Century. It is not a new behaviour but has been... Sample PDF
Transliteracy as a Unifying Perspective
Chapter 30
Martin Weller, James Dalziel
This chapter looks at some of the areas of tension between the new social networking, Web 2.0 communities and the values of higher education. It... Sample PDF
Bridging the Gap Between Web 2.0 and Higher Education
Chapter 31
Steve Wheeler
The use of group oriented software, or groupware, encourages students to generate their own content (McGill et al, 2005) and can foster supportive... Sample PDF
Destructive Creativity on the Social Web: Learning through Wikis in Higher Education
Chapter 32
Scott Wilson
This chapter describes the mechanisms of presence in social networks and presents an ontology that frames the purpose, content, methods of... Sample PDF
Presence in Social Networks
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