Learning within Digital and Social Media Minitrack

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We solicit papers on how human learning takes place via interactive and social processes enabled or supported by digital and social media. We seek to bridge disciplines and research communities between system and learning sciences, so within this scope a broad range of research questions, learning settings, and theoretical and methodological traditions will be considered. Contributions may include new design approaches, theoretical perspectives, learning analytic techniques, policy implications and/or other research results relating to the relationship between digital and social media and learning. Studies may be situated in formal or informal learning settings, and we particularly encourage studies of learning "in the technological wild".

The shared theme across accepted papers will be on relationships between human learning activities and the technologies used. Topics of particular interest include:

  • how learning takes place in networks, crowds, teams and communities that exist on and through the WWW and digital and social media;
  • how the affordances of technological systems influence or are appropriated for learning via social processes, and how design of affordances can leverage these influences;
  • how learning is (or can be designed to be) distributed and coordinated across multiple digital and social media;
  • learning practices at the nexus of distributed work, socializing, and knowledge sharing;
  • learning analytics in digital and social media: how to understand learning via the traces people leave in social media;
  • new trends in learning and digital and social media, including issues and opportunities relating to information literacy, literacy and new media, ubiquitous learning, viral learning and entrepreneurial learning; and
  • ethical issues relating to learning online, including issues relating to data capture, analysis and display, and learning about controversial subjects or anti­social activities.

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Dan Suthers (Primary Contact)
University of Hawaii
Email: suthers@hawaii.edu

Maarten De Laat
Open University of the Netherlands
Email: maarten.delaat@ou.nl

Caroline Haythornthwaite
University of British Columbia
Email: haythorn@interchange.ubc.ca

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    The Future of Social Learning: A Novel Approach to Connectivism
    ( 2017-01-04) Smidt, Holm ; Thornton, Matsu ; Abhari, Kaveh
    The primary goal of this paper is to operationalize the connectivism approach into a new learning model with additions from problem-based and contextual learning that can be effectively implemented together, to improve socioeconomically diverse learners’ educational outcomes (attitude and persistence) in STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) areas. We model this approach through the development and demonstration of an innovative, evidence-based, and scalable how-to-learn program that leverages connectivism principles and technology. This paper uses the case of energy education to provide contextual relevancy and prepare learners for the high demand jobs of the future. The new model is developed within the context of Internet of Things (IoT), where students have a unique opportunity to participate in a real-world application of an IoT system for green energy governance.
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    Students’ Comprehension of Scientific Discussion: Using Eye-tracking Technique to Investigate the Effects of Social-media Messages on Television
    ( 2017-01-04) Inuzuka, Miwa ; Tanaka, Yuko ; Tsubakimoto, Mio
    The present study explores the effects of social-media messages that are presented in television content. In particular, the retention of content and changes in attitude through watching television programs was investigated. Thirty participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: one that included social-media messages and one that omitted social-media messages. The participants’ eye movements as well as retention performance and attitude toward the topic discussed on the television program were measured. Attitude was measured using two subscales: one concerned with positive attitude and the other with skeptical attitude. Results indicated that the retention performance of participants who paid attention to the social-media messages longer was lower than that of participants who paid less attention. The participants’ attitudes changed after watching the television program but the effects of social-media messages were unclear for attitude change. The possibility of the appropriate use of social-media messages is also discussed.
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    Social Affordances of Mixed Reality Learning Environments: A case from the Science through Technology Enhanced Play project (STEP)
    ( 2017-01-04) Enyedy, Noel ; Danish, Joshua ; Deliema, David ; Saleh, Asmalina ; Lee, Christine ; Morris, Noelani ; Illum, Randy
    We describe the design of the Science through Technology Enhanced Play (STEP) project. In STEP, we explore the potential for dramatic play—a form of activity that is particularly familiar to early elementary students—to promote meaningful inquiry about scientific concepts. We report on the first round of design experiments conducted with 120 first and second grade students who investigated how and why different states of matter have different properties. Pre-post analyses indicate that the majority of students learned the content and demonstrate how the affordances of the socio-technical system promoted the transition from individual observation to collective inquiry, how play as the root activity provided agency within that inquiry, and how the teacher and the social norms of the classroom reinforced these productive social processes.
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    Learning within Digital Media: Investigating the Relationships Between Student Citation Networks, Assignment Structures, and Learning Outcomes
    ( 2017-01-04) Collins, Regina ; Gruzd, Anatoliy
    Students are comfortable sharing digital content with others, yet the effect of sharing of digital media for learning remains largely unexplored. Building on research in social network analysis and learning analytics, this research explores the use and sharing of digital media in learning activities, analyzing the effects of the design of the learning activities on the resulting networks of students and their cited resources, and exploring relationships between attributes of these citation networks and students’ perceptions of the learning outcomes. Results suggest that the extent to which an assignment is well-structured and converges towards a single solution positively influences the density and clustering coefficient of the resulting citation network, and that these network measures in turn have a positive influence on students’ perceptions of learning from the assignment.
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    Information Uses and Learning Outcomes During Guided Discovery in a Blended E-Learning Game Design Program for Secondary Computer Science Education
    ( 2017-01-04) Reynolds, Rebecca ; Leeder, Christopher
    This study investigates middle school and high school students’ online information uses and social constructivist engagement during a blended e-learning program of game design for computer science education. Students use a learning management system (LMS) pre-populated with curriculum and resources, participating in an in-school class, daily for credit and a grade for a year, with non-expert teachers. This blended e-learning model aims to contribute to scaling of CS education, towards meeting the needs of teacher shortages in this domain. The study draws on Google Analytics data to describe student activity patterns and investigate relationships between measured patterns and learning outcomes. Findings show two activity factors emerging in student resource uses (less advanced, more advanced), and correlations between uses of more advanced resource, and outcomes. Further, student uses of the “team page,” the locus of their social constructivist game design engagement online, are highly correlated with outcomes. The research offers some support for effectiveness of such blended learning approaches in supporting CS education in this age group through knowledge-building, while also showing areas for improvement in instructional design, including direct scaffolding of information literacy instruction in such contexts.
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    Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning in STEM Domains: Towards a Meta-synthesis
    ( 2017-01-04) Hmelo-Silver, Cindy ; Jeong, Heisawn ; Faulkner, Roosevelt ; Hartley, Kylie
    Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) research has become pervasive in STEM education over the last several decades. The research presented here is part of an ongoing project to construct a meta-synthesis of CSCL findings in STEM domains. After a systematic search of the literature and article coding, cluster analysis results provided a frame for sampling from this literature in order to examine effects of CSCL. This preliminary meta-synthesis addresses the three key pillars of CSCL: the nature of collaboration, the technologies that are employed, and the pedagogical designs. CSCL tools and pedagogies typically improve collaborative learning processes along with achieving other learning and motivational goals.
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    Introduction to Learning within Digital and Social Media Minitrack
    ( 2017-01-04) Suthers, Dan ; De Laat, Maarten ; Haythornthwaite, Caroline