The Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies on the Learning Experience of Students in Higher Education: A Review

The Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies on the Learning Experience of Students in Higher Education: A Review

Afaf Mubarak Bugawa (Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain) and Andri Mirzal (Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/IJWLTT.2018070101

Abstract

This article describes how the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the field of learning is on the rise. By their nature, Web 2.0 technologies increase the interactivity between users where interactivity is considered to be a key to success in traditional classrooms. This article reviews recent studies in the field of Web 2.0 technologies for learning and their impacts on the learning experiences and investigates relationship between Web 2.0 technologies and pedagogy in higher education on student learning. Key findings about the impacts of using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and wikis on learning experiences are also discussed. Web 2.0 technologies' characteristics and the rationale of Web 2.0 technologies in learning will also be explored.
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Introduction

For approximately the last twenty years, due to the advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs), the world has faced technological changes in many different fields, such as business, health, economic and education (Edwards & Bone, 2012). Web 2.0 technologies provide platforms for users to create, navigate, communicate, share and collaborate, which gives them new learning experiences and opportunities. Web 2.0 as the communication tools has provided users with venues to interact with different people 'anytime' and 'anywhere'. With the introduction of Web 2.0 technologies, there has been a paradigm shift from teacher and teaching to students and learning (Brown, 2012) which leads to ‘student-centered’ learning (Chawinga, 2017). The focus has also been shifted to ‘users as producers and active participants' in learning activities rather than being 'consumer and passive participants' (Deebom & Amaso, 2017; Selwyn, 2011) and they are ‘self-regulated’ in which they can create their own learning environment (Palaigeorgiou & Grammatikopoulou, 2016).

Collis and Moonen (2008) refer to Web 2.0 technologies as “what is perceived as a second generation of web-based services emphasizing on online collaboration and sharing”. Web 2.0 technologies are sometimes referred to as social media in higher education (Chawinga, 2017; Gikas & Grant, 2013). Web 2.0 are the tools that are used for social networking, bookmarking and sharing videos and pictures. Web 2.0 is a set of tools such as Twitter, Facebook, wikis, blogs and polls that are used for engagement, interaction with peers, collaboration and participation (Chawinga, 2017). In the following section, Web 2.0 technologies in relation to learning are discussed.

Overview Of Web 2.0 Technologies And Students’ Learning Experiences

The fundamental categories of Web 2.0 technologies can be represented as: (1) student-centered design, where students are the producers of knowledge; (2) learner-instructor as colleagues, and (3) a shift from formal learning environment to informal learning environments (Huertas et al., 2007). There are five classifications of interactions in the formal and informal learning environments: 'learner-learner', learner-instructor', 'learner-interface', 'learner-content' and 'learner-self' interaction (Palaigeorgiou & Grammatikopoulou, 2016; Sun & Hsu, 2012).

Even though the use of Web 2.0 technologies among students was evidenced, Barnes and Tynan (2007) observed a disconnection between student take-up and their academic take-up of Web 2.0 technologies. Whilst there are many factors that shape the uses of Web 2.0 technology for learning, learning experience in particular has always been identified as the impetus behind the successful integration of technology and learning.

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