Social Media Learning Activities (SMLA): Implications for Design

Ghania E. Zgheib, Nada Dabbagh


This study explored how experienced faculty are using social media to support student learning. It analysed the types of social media learning activities (SMLAs), their design, the cognitive processes that they support, and the types of knowledge that students engage in when completing SMLAs. Data gathered from five different cases of six faculty using social media in their courses revealed that social media has the potential to support student learning and promote different levels of cognitive processes and types of knowledge. Results also revealed that experienced faculty select social media tools based on their technology features or their popularity in the field of study, and they recommend integrating several media sources in the design of a single SMLA. Furthermore, this study suggested that experienced faculty who use social media, specifically wikis and blogs, use them as Learning Management Systems. Finally, the social factor of social media was not evident in the design of the learning activities, and faculty reported promoting more dialogue in their revised SMLA. The findings of this study yielded significant considerations for faculty when designing SMLA.


social media, social media learning activities, social media design, instructional design, online learning, LMS.

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