The space for social media in structured online learning

Gilly Salmon, Belinda Britt Ross, Ekaterina Pechenkina, Anne-Marie Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we explore the benefits of using social media in an online educational setting, with a particular focus on the use of Facebook and Twitter by participants in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed to enable educators to learn about the Carpe Diem learning design process.We define social media as digital social tools and environments located outside of the provision of a formal university-provided Learning Management System. We use data collected via interviews and surveys with the MOOC participants as well as social media postings made by the participants throughout theMOOCto offer insights into howparticipants’ usage and perception of social media in their online learning experiences differed and why. We identified that, although some participants benefitted from social media by crediting it, for example, with networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities, others objected or refused to
engage with social media, perceiving it as a waste of their time. We make recommendations for the usage of socialmedia for educational purposes within MOOCs and formal digital learning environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28507
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Learning Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • MOOCs
  • social media
  • learning design
  • online identity
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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