Characteristics of Heavy Users and Light Users' Contributions Using a Social Networking System to Enhance Literacy

By Anne Drabble.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 29, 2015 $US5.00

This paper builds on the current understanding about how social networking systems (SNS) contribute to the effective transmission of learning and teaching for a community of University students. Social networking systems provide a medium that students use as a primary communication tool. The use of SNS by educators as a complementary medium to support student learning and teaching, together with advancing the use of technology and SNS as effective tools for student learning is the basis for this study. The study adopted a case study approach based on the online communications of 29 education students enrolled in a teacher education course and used contemporary typology frameworks that were modified for literacy learning. Results were analysed to identify characteristics of heavy users and light users’ contributions in the SNS communication events during literacy learning. The research found that SNS was a useful complementary learning medium although participation rates by the students varied significantly. The heavy users were characterised by more references to social and literacy matters that introduced prior learning experiences while the light users’ references were located in social and literacy matters, but to a lesser extent. The findings provide further insight into the effectiveness of SNS and student engagement in learning.

Keywords: Social Networking Systems, Literacy

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.19-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 29, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 561.008KB)).

Dr. Anne Drabble

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast. Queensland Australia., Ashgrove, Queensland, Australia