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ERIC Number: ED549711
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-0383-7
Student Interaction and Community Building: An Evaluation of Social Networking in Online Learning Environments
Cardona-Divale, Maria Victoria
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Learners often report difficulty maintaining social connectivity in online courses. Technology is quickly changing how people communicate, collaborate and learn using online social networking sites (SNSs). These sites have transformed education in a way that provides new learning opportunities when integrated with web 2.0 tools. Little research is available that investigates the use of the two SNSs Facebook and Twitter in online courses. This study is a quantitative descriptive study that attempts to determine the extent to which Facebook© and Twitter have been implemented and used in online courses, if they have been used parallel to their course for communication, and if the use had any influence on the sense of classroom community. The literature review examined the interaction, types of interaction, sense of community, and tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, that could be used to support interaction. Data collected from 110 faculty and 979 learners from East Coast Public College, which is a representative group of different multi campus public colleges, revealed the use of these two SNSs by faculty and learners and their attitudes towards these tools in courses and its possible effects on the sense of classroom community. Learners took the Sense of Classroom Community Scale (Rovai, 2002), and answered questions about the use of Facebook and Twitter in their courses. Results showed that there is Facebook interaction between learners and other learners but it was minimally used in their courses. Results showed that the use of Facebook and Twitter for academics was minimal and low. Faculty and learners agreed that having Facebook and Twitter as an optional tool was important. The implication for instructional designers is how colleges can create SNSs as an effective strategy that brings future learners and college communities together. Research on how learners are using online SNS demonstrated that the technology is in use. It is important to negotiate and make decisions on current technological tools and services that are appropriate for online learning and courses rather than not to use them at all. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A