Using Social Media in an Open Distance Learning Teaching Practice Course
AbstractUsing social media to support educational endeavors leverages the benefits of in-person learning communities with the benefits of using technology to support student engagement. This paper explores the use of social media to support economics education student teachers’ engagement in teaching practice at an open distance learning institution. Only sixty nine student teachers (n=369) registered for the SDEC00N blog (subject didactics economics), which was a pilot study to use blogging as an educational tool to support them during teaching practice placements for the following academic year. Only Economics education students were invited by e-mail message, blog and discussion forum as announcements on myUnisa webpage to complete an online social media survey (SMS). The intent of this research was to provide some insight into the impact the use of social media can have on the level of student teachers engagement in their learning. The findings indicated that there was a positive correlation between the frequency of student use of social media and their relationship with their peers and instructors as well as how they describe the overall quality of instruction and the preservice teaching practice programme.
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