TAM + ARCS = SNT Framework for Higher Education

TAM + ARCS = SNT Framework for Higher Education

Nirupama R. Akella (Wichita State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0119-1.ch003
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This chapter studies the challenge and issue of developing a sound social networking technology (SNT) framework to affect positive student engagement and consequently effective learning. The author aims to enable educational administrators, faculty, and curriculum designers to incorporate and seamlessly integrate SNT in curricula to foster effective and efficient learning. The chapter bases itself on the premise that higher educational institutions failing to develop and integrate social educational technology in their educational systems and policies will face major maintenance and existence issues. Contemporary dynamic technology, diverse learner populations coupled with different types of learning environments, and learning connotations necessitate the need for a robust SNT framework. The author researches the task technology fit (TTF) framework, discusses theories of TAM and ARCS, describes SNT of Twitter and Facebook, and uses a qualitative case study to develop and craft a SNT framework for higher education.
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Contemporary US education systems are dominated by 'digital natives' learners who are knowledge and performance oriented. These digital natives demand and expect technology in all its forms to be a part of the face-to-face, hybrid, or online classroom enabling them to access information and enhance knowledge and skills at their convenience (Pradia, 2016). Digital natives have grown up with technology such as cell phones, Internet, social networking tools, web 2.0 applications, wikis, and social bookmarking (Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, & Marsh, 2017). The increased use of technology in K12 and higher education classrooms has gradually led to the emergence and dominance of a technologically oriented educational culture (Center for Post-Secondary Research, 2017). The challenge for educational institutions has become to stay abreast of current dynamic flexible educational technology. It has become imperative to engage varied learner populations at all levels with stimulating online content and technology encouraging communications, connections, reflections, sharing, participation, and collaboration (Echung & Usoro, 2016).

In their annual reports, the Community College of Student Engagement (CCSE) and the Center for Post-Secondary Research stated contemporary learners desire a need to establish connections to facilitate sharing, engagement, and collaboration to foster meaningful, active learning (Fırat, Kılınç & Yüzer, 2018). Over the past seven years, the number of social networking apps, and Google sharing has increased from 5000 to 1.75% (Schindler et al., 2017). The number of university students using Facebook for academic purposes has grown from 16% to 95%, while Twitter users in academic universities have increased from 27% to 91% (Naghdipour & Eldridge, 2016; Williams & Whiting, 2016). The increased usage of social networking technology (SNT) such as Facebook and Twitter have created a pedagogical and instructional gap (Chawinga, 2017). Web 2.0 social technology offers an institutional structure not bound by traditional boundaries of higher education systems, and has the potential to reach and impact different learner populations (Pradia, 2016). Limited shelf life of new technologies including learning management systems (LMS) coupled with institutional barriers of budget, faculty beliefs, perceptions, and an absence of an appropriate technologically oriented pedagogy compounds the challenge of successfully integrating and implementing instructional technology in higher education (Schindler et al., 2017). According to educational administrators, faculty, and curriculum developers the primary goal of SNT was to enable creation of online public profiles, empower social friendships and exchange of information (Chawinga, 2017). SNT was not seen as an active learning medium empowering active learning. SNT applications of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, were not identified as ways of increasing effective student engagement where learners could determine their learning through dialogue, and presence (Naghdipour & Eldridge, 2016). Universities failing to integrate appropriate SNT applications in their learning environments to enrich student learning experiences by improving student outcomes of a dynamic diverse student body have had to cope with dwindling enrollment numbers (Wingo, Ivankova & Moss, 2017). Universities need to adopt a continuous design model to seamlessly integrate curricula with appropriate instructional technology to increase student engagement, and lifelong learning.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Social Network Tools (SNT): Virtual, online social tools, such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and Instant Messaging, which are used by mainstream society and students to communicate with and remain, connected to their social networks.

Learning Management System (LMS): Defined as software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs

Instructional Design: Process by which learning products and experiences are designed, developed, and delivered.

Tweets: Electronic messages sent through a Twitter-enabled device or application containing no more than 140 characters.

Digital Native: Identified as people who are early adopters or who are adept at using technology because of easy access to technology.

Web 2.0: Online applications providing a social writing platform for collaborations among members in a group, or individuals who share common interests.

Twitter: A real-time short messaging service working over multiple networks and devices.

Facebook: A social utility or tool helping people communicate effectively and efficiently with their friends, family, and colleagues.

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