Traditional to Hybrid: Social Media’s Role in Reshaping Instruction in Higher Education

Traditional to Hybrid: Social Media’s Role in Reshaping Instruction in Higher Education

Rowena Li (Queens College, City University of New York, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3688-0.ch005
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Drawn from first-hand teaching and learning experiences, this chapter seeks to explore social media tools and their unique features in adapting traditional face-to-face courses to the hybrid learning environment. It examines the transformed roles of instructors and students, as well as their changing pedagogical, social, and psychological needs. It also demonstrates how social media can be used to meet the challenges of both hybrid and online instruction in higher education. This chapter provides faculty, administrators, and practitioners a better understanding of the roles of the instructors and students in a hybrid setting and also offers guidance to instructors on how to involve social media tools in a hybrid learning environment to enhance students’ learning experiences.
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With the advent of digital information and communication technologies, online learning has shown rapid growth in American colleges and universities over the past decade. According to the annual report on online education in the United States analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group in conjunction with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation:

  • Over 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the Fall 2009 term; nearly one million students more than the number in the 2008 report.

  • The 21% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the less than 2% growth of the overall higher education student population.

  • Nearly 30% of higher education students now take at least one course online (Allen & Seaman, 2010, p. 2).

As online education has grown rapidly, the concomitant emergence of hybrid/blended learning in higher education should not be ignored. A survey found that 80% of higher education institutions offer hybrid/blended learning courses, with research institutions being the highest at 93% (Arabasz, Boggs, & Baker, 2003).

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