The Pedagogical Affordances of a Social Networking Site in Higher Education
Al Ibrahim, Amal Abdullah
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
In recent times, higher educational institutions have faced a challenge from the radical demands of their students. With the spread of students’ use of Web 2.0 applications, educational institutions also need to move with this trend and adopt Web 2.0 applications in education. As a contribution to the field of innovation in higher education, this study explores the pedagogical affordances of a social networking site (SNS) in higher education in Saudi Arabia. A case study methodology informed by Design-Based Research DBR approach was used. This approach was characterized by iterations of design and evaluation. The study was applied in two phases: Phase One was applied in the University of Exeter to evaluate a previously designed course, “The ICT Future”, with the innovation of a social networking site. The result of this phase was a framework which was applied in Phase Two, in King Saud University, which contributed to the design of an innovative course using social networking site, on "Web design". The data were collected by mixed methods: using stimulated recall interviews, reflexive report, and observation of the interaction on the social networking site. The findings of the study were used to help revise the framework for the design of a course which utilised the social networking site. The framework developed in this study was based on the findings of the pedagogical affordances of the SNS. The study concludes that the pedagogical affordances of the social networking sites are: reflection, stimulation, content-creation, collaboration, and online discussion. These affordances support students in higher education. Some important challenges in implementing the social networking site in higher education were highlighted. The study presents the need to change pedagogical practices in universities, and discusses various ways in which these changes could be implemented.
PhD in Education