Using Social Media to Support Presentation Skill Development in Traditional Classroom Environments

Using Social Media to Support Presentation Skill Development in Traditional Classroom Environments

Paul M. Di Gangi (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA), Samuel H. Goh (Northern Kentucky University, USA) and Carmen C. Lewis (Troy University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5652-7.ch018

Abstract

Social media has become widely adopted in both society and business. However, the academy has been slow to leverage social media as a learning tool. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, this study explores student perceptions about the use of social media in face-to-face classroom environments. Second, this study examines how social media, as a learning tool, supports presentation skill development. Using a proprietary social media application, we conducted a sequential mixed method study using students enrolled in undergraduate introductory information systems courses that included a student presentation project. One hundred seventy-seven students responded to a survey based on a facilitator and inhibitor model of social media use and an open-ended questionnaire to understand how social media impacts presentation skill development. The implications of the results from this study are discussed along with directions for future research.
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1. Introduction

One of the most critical skills for a business professional to possess is the ability to communicate effectively (Blume, Baldwin, & Ryan, 2013; Brink & Costigan, 2015). It should come as no surprise that communication skill is one of the most highly desired skills for prospective employees (Brink & Costigan, 2015), especially for information systems (IS) professionals (Aasheim, Shropshire, Li, & Kadlec, 2012; Alshare, Lane, & Miller, 2011; Gallagher et al., 2011). In general, communication can be divided into two broad categories, oral and written communication, with oral communication decomposed further into presenting, listening, and conversing (Brink & Costigan, 2015). Educators have been quick to prioritize effective oral communication as a crucial learning objective for students entering the workforce. While traditional classroom lectures enable students to grasp key concepts within a discipline, hands-on practice is critical for learning how to communicate effectively. To address this unique challenge, educators have adopted experiential class exercises that allow students to develop their oral communication skills and gain confidence in a non-threatening environment (Bedwell, Fiore, & Salas, 2014). Positive feedback and experiences can help shape attitudes and reduce communication apprehension (Blume et al., 2013).

Of course the learning tools educators have at their disposal are not static. As information and communication technologies evolve into more interactive technologies (i.e., social media), society has openly accepted the use of social media for building diverse relationships, creating new knowledge, and engaging a globally dispersed audience for personal and business purposes (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Leonardi, Huysman, & Steinfield, 2013). Yet, educators have been slow to integrate social media as a means to complement existing pedagogical approaches for skill development (Ractham & Chen, 2013). We define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 61). Examples of common social media for classroom use include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In this study, we focus on how social media can be re-appropriated to an academic environment to achieve learning objectives. To date, research on pedagogical uses for social media have shown that social media can play a significant role in developing written communication skills through the use of blogs for writing assignments (Powell, Jacob, & Chapman, 2012; Zhang, 2013) and Twitter for class discussion that extends beyond the confines of the physical classroom (Dunlap & Lowenthal, 2009; Junco, Heiberger, & Loken, 2010). Research has yet to explore how social media may support the development of oral communication skills.

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