Enhancing student learning and success through the use of social networking technologies : a design-based research approach

Lacro, Erika L.
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Research has focused on attaining higher levels of student success that are attributed to active and collaborative learning, driven by student-generated, ubiquitous, transparent environments. This research attempts to answer the question: can social networking technologies, linked with academic coursework and student support services, increase levels of self-efficacy leading to student success and retention? The constructs used to measure the outcomes of participating in a social networking environment include perceived sociability of the technology used and the formal and informal peer interactions that occur and self-efficacy levels. In a design-based research environment, an experiment took place over the course of three semesters. It was proposed that the perceived sociability and formal and informal peer interactions will increase the students' self-efficacy levels. This impact will drive higher levels of student success and retention in their academic career endeavors. The research takes place in the framework of design-based research, and focuses on defining technology as a process, not just an artifact that can impact teaching and learning methods. Results support the theories related to perceived sociability of computer learning environments, effects of peer interaction and self-efficacy on course completion, and retention. There was considerable overall support for the proposed theoretical model. However differential effects of the social networking treatment were mixed as not all the results showed a significant difference in impact between the treatment and control groups. A path analysis evaluation showed that peer interaction and the treatment intervention had a predicted effect on academic self-efficacy. A test of indirect effects of using the social networking on student success and retention showed small, but significant, indirect effects mediated through self-efficacy. This indirect impact of the social networking treatment on student success through self-efficacy provides support for the overall conceptual model. The results do provide a great deal of practical guidance as the aim to create a campus-wide social networking environment continues at the selected college.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
social media
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