Distance learners' use of non-institutional social media to augment and enhance their learning experience

Andrews, Trish; Tynan, Belinda and Backstrom, Kendra (2012). Distance learners' use of non-institutional social media to augment and enhance their learning experience. In: Ascilite 2012: Future Challenges, Sustainable Futures, 25-28 Nov 2012, Wellington, New Zealand.

URL: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/wellington1...

Abstract

This paper reports on initial data elicited from two related studies which draw on the learner voice in relation to experiences of distance learners in their use of social media in higher education contexts across four universities. Data from these studies suggest that the wide availability, accessibility and affordances of social media create alternative learning options for some distance learners. The studies reported here draw upon affordance theory and identify that some distant learners are actively and deliberately using popular, non-institutional social media tools to augment and extend their learning experiences. This brief paper discusses emerging findings and the possible implications of these findings for the sector.

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