Social (Im)Balance in Education

By Walkyria Goode and Guido Caicedo.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Educators and researchers are experimenting with social media (e.g. forums, blogs, wikis) as a channel for learning through dialogue and content creation. In an ideal educational environment, the use of these tools would encourage students to engage in similar levels of participation and to actively provide high quality contributions. Nevertheless, there are several factors and behaviors that affect a student’s exposure to a shared learning experience. This study summarizes current research using discussion forums and collaborative authoring in three business courses. Further, it evaluates the use of social software in the context of graduate education. Students were assigned to collaboratively write class responses – as single group – to the instructor’s queries. The forums included active student discussion on class readings. Surveys were administered to examine the influence of these applications on perceived learning and course satisfaction. As a result of preliminary observations, the data suggest that online tools can be valuable conduits for constructivist learning. Additional analyses reveal unequal discourse and involvement. This imbalance affects quality of learning and motivation. Evaluation results of forum usage and content creation are summarized and student questionnaires are analyzed. Student attitude and role of the instructor are discussed. A discussion is provided on issues that affect participation and collaboration. Several strategies are proposed to balance student participation and achieve comparable learning experiences.

Keywords: Social Media, Education, Learning, Computer Uses in Education

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.449-464. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.057MB).

Walkyria Goode

Professor, ESPAE – Graduate School of Management, ESPAE-­‐ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Walkyria Goode is a Professor at ESPAE – Graduate School of Management at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral. Her work is on human computer interaction and cognitive psychology. Recent projects include the use of online discussion forums in education, the effects of information displays on decision making and the influence of textual visualization on social impression management. Ongoing research is focused on the use of digital technology within a classroom setting for both primary and higher education and within teams.

Guido Caicedo

Professor, ESPAE – Graduate School of Management, Facultad de Ingeniería en Electricidad y Computación, Centro de Desarrollo de Emprendedores, ESPAE-­‐ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guido Caicedo is a Professor at ESPAE – Graduate School of Management and at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). He has worked on artificial intelligence and human computer interaction. He led the team that implemented an online coursework tool used at ESPOL. Recently he has been working on entrepreneurship and led the Entrepreneurship Center at ESPOL for several years. Ongoing research is focused on entrepreneurial competences and entrepreneurship education.

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