The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

Social Media in Learning

Cloud created by:

Kylie Matthews
27 November 2015

Date: Tuesday 8 December 2015

Time: 10:00 - 12:30

Venue: Library Seminar Rooms 1&2


  • 10:00-10.30 - Social Media and Student Engagement: Oppportunities and Challenges - Simon Horrocks (The OU in Wales)

There has been much debate in the HE sector in general, and the OU in particular, about the potential for using social media to support student engagement.  The OU already has some strong examples of good practice to point towards (the Social Sciences Facebook page and the work of the Careers Advisory Service to name but two) but some significant questions remain:

-          How does student engagement through social media work alongside more formal University channels?

-          What are the ethical/reputational considerations of OU staff engaging students in the more informal (and public) context of social media?

-          Do OU staff have the right skills to engage effectively and appropriately using social media channels?

In considering these questions, this presentation will draw on examples from the Postgraduate Education SST twitter account (@OUpgED) which was launched in September 2015.

  • 10:30-11:00 - Researching the educational value of OU student-led Facebook groups - Leigh-Ann Perryman (IET)

As Staff Tutors we see that OU students often prefer module-related discussion in student-led Facebook groups to that in ‘official’ VLE forums. Seeking to understand the reasons for this we analysed 10 OU student-led Facebook groups, investigating the quantity and content of activity over a one month period.  Our research findings (see reveal that different types of Facebook groups are being used by OU students in different ways and that the groups offer both emotional and academic peer support, with implications both for tutors and the university as a whole.

  • 11:00-11:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:30-12:00 - Teachers on Twitter: sharing practice and developing a community of practice - Fernando Rosell-Aguilar (FELS)

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has become a hugely popular social networking microblogging service. Many learners and teachers worldwide use Twitter as a learning and teaching tool, but research on how and why it is used is limited. This paper presents an overview of the uses of Twitter for education and language learning, and shows how a group of language teachers use Twitter as a tool for professional development through the #mfltwitterati hashtag. Based on data collected through a survey (n=116) and interviews (n=11), this paper describes how this collective of teachers use the hashtag and evaluates the impact the network they have created has had on their teaching practices. The methodology in this research is innovative as it is based on the use of an already-existing hashtag as opposed to one created for the purpose of the research, and both the survey and interviews were carried out using Twitter. The results show that most users are UK-based female school teachers, they try the suggestions and ideas that they find on this network, and have very positive impressions of the impact the network has on their teaching. Finally, the paper assesses whether the hashtag users can be described as a community of practice.



This event was recorded. It  is available to view via Stadium. If you have any queries, or wish to suggest a future event, please email Details of future eLC events will be made available nearer each session and can be found along with details of previous events, slides, notes and/or recordings on Cloudworks.

Extra content

Embedded Content


Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.