Social media enabled collaborative learning environments: a design science research approach
University College Cork
Collaborative technologies such as Group Decision Support Systems were proclaimed to be able to impact the learning environments of educational institutions twenty years ago, where the Information Systems discipline was interested in determining whether they were capable of transforming the traditional methods of teaching. It was understood that these technologies were effective at transforming learning environments from a traditional approach to a collaborative one, where the learner is part of the learning process, but little has actually changed in this time. However, new generations of these collaborative technologies often emerge, and the platforms of social media are one such technology. In a similar fashion to previous collaborative technologies, social media have been proclaimed as impacting the learning environments of educational institutions through better communication and collaboration, in new and exciting ways. However, a problem that has been identified is there is a lack of understanding on whether the platforms that are enabled by social media are effective at enabling collaborative learning. This study helps improve this understanding. A design science research (DSR) approach was adopted to build an evaluation framework to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of social media enabled collaborative learning environments (SMECLEs). The evaluation framework was developed during a five year DSR study, over six design cycles. These incorporated insights from existing literature on DSR, social media, and collaborative learning, using 272 journal and conference articles. Further, data was gathered from six SMECLEs, which consisted of 857 tweets, 1439 blog posts, and 3376 blog comments. The resulting framework was then used to evaluate the six SMECLEs, where a number of trends were identified, which suggests that the tool is effective for its intended purpose. Thus, the primary contribution of this study, to both practice and the knowledge base, is the evaluation framework for social media enabled collaborative learning environments (SMECLEs).
Social media , Collaborative learning , Design science research , Learning , Social media enabled collaborative learning environments
Doyle, C. 2015. Social media enabled collaborative learning environments: a design science research approach. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.