Establishing a Sense of Community, Interaction, and Knowledge Exchange Among Students
In this chapter, we share experiences from a project at Aalborg University (AAU), in which the authors designed a course using Google+ Communities for the first semester of the Communication and Digital Media programme. The main pedagogical idea was to use Google+ Communities to foster both an academic and social sense of community among the students, through encouraging interaction and knowledge exchange. Studies show that students prefer to use Facebook for academic and social purposes. Consequently, teachers have limited insight into the academic challenges facing students, which is problematic when trying to create and support an academic community. Moreover, it is problematic that the institutional system Moodle primarily is used by the teachers to push information in the direction of the students. Thus, we wanted to design a third space that would fit in-between Facebook and Moodle, and which would allow the students to experience the benefits of participating in an online community with fellow students and teachers. The study shows that teachers are crucial in developing and maintaining the online community. Nevertheless, there was also evidence that some of the online activities encouraged students to interact and exchange knowledge which fostered a sense of community.
KeywordsProblem based learning Community Knowledge exchange Social media Networked learning
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Askehave, I., Linnemann Prehn, H., Pedersen, J., & Thorsø Pedersen, M. (Red.). (n.d.). PBL - Problem Based Learning. Aalborg universitet Rektorsekretariatet. http://www.pbl.aau.dk/digitalAssets/269/269243_148025_pbl-aalborg-model_uk.pdf. Last accessed: 24 May 2017.
- Bygholm, A. & Nyvang, T. (2013). IKT-støttet læring og kvalitet – erfaringer fra uddannelserne i Humanistisk Informatik på Aalborg Universitet. In I Y. Nordkvelle, T. Fossland & G. Netteland (Eds.), Kvalitet i fleksibel høyere utdanning – nordiske perspektiver (pp. 99-112). Trondheim: Akademika Forlag.Google Scholar
- Cuesta, M., Eklund, M., Rydin, I. & Witt, A.-K. (2016). Using Facebook as a co-learning community in higher education. Learning, Media and Technology 41(1), 55-72. doi: 10.1080/17439884.2015.1064952.
- Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2016). Networked learning and problem and project based learning – how they complement each other. In S. Cranmer, N. Bonderup-Dohn, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg & J.-A. Sime (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Networked Learning 2016 (pp. 193-199). Lancaster: Lancaster University.Google Scholar
- Heilesen, S. & Davidsen, S. (2016). Projektarbejde og akademisk IT-skoling. læring og Medier 9(15). URL: http://ojs.statsbiblioteket.dk/index.php/lom/article/view/23106. Last accessed: 12 May 2017.
- Holgaard, J. E., Ryberg, T., Stegeager, N., Stentoft, D. & Thomassen, A. O. (2014). PBL: Problembaseret læring og projektarbejde ved de videregående uddannelser. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.Google Scholar
- Hommes, J., Rienties, B., Grave, W. de, Bos, G., Schuwirth, L. & Scherpbier, A. (2012). Visualising the invisible: a network approach to reveal the informal social side of student learning. Advances in Health Sciences Education 17(5), 743-757. doi: 10.1007/s10459-012-9349-0.
- Illeris, K. (1976). Problemorientering og deltagerstyring: oplæg til en alternativ didaktik. København: Munksgaard.Google Scholar
- Konnerup, U. & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2016). Future workshop as a didactic framework for doing problem based learning. In A.-M. Nortvig, B. H. Sørensen, M. Misfeldt, A. Ørngreen, Rikke, B. B. Alsop, B. Henningsen & H: Hautopp (Eds.), Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Designs for Learning, Vol. 5 (pp. 128-147). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag.Google Scholar
- Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J. & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: “It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work.” Learning, Media and Technology 34(2). doi: 10.1080/17439880902923606.
- Petrovic, N., Jeremic, V., Cirovic, M., Radojicic, Z. & Milenkovic, N. (2013). Facebook vs. Moodle: What do students really think. In International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education. URL: http://www.icicte.org/Proceedings2013/Papers%202013/12-1-Petrovic.pdf. Last accessed: 10 June 2017.
- Rienties, B., Carbonell, K. B., Alcott, P., & Willis, T. (2012). Understanding emerging knowledge spillovers in small-group learning settings: The role of project-based learning, friendship and work-relations. In V. Hodgson, C. Jones, M. de Laat, D. McConell, T. Ryberg & P. Sloep (Eds.), Proceedings of 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. 533-540). Lancaster: Lancaster University.Google Scholar
- Rongbutsri, N., Khalid, M. S. & Ryberg, T. (2011). ICT support for students’ collaboration in problem and project based learning. I J. Davies, E. de Graaf & A. Kolmos (Eds.), PBL Across the Disciplines (pp. 351-363). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag.Google Scholar
- Ryberg, T., Davidsen, J. & Hodgson, V. (2016). Problem and project based learning in mixed spaces: Nomads and artisans. In S. Cranmer, N.B. Dohn, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg & J. A Sime (Eds.), Networked Learning 2016 Conference Proceedings (pp. 200-209). Lancaster: Lancaster University.Google Scholar
- Ryberg, T. & Wentzer, H. (2011). Erfaringer med e-porteføljer og personlige læringsmiljøer. Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Tidsskrift 11, 14-19.Google Scholar
- Salmon, G. (2002). E-tivities: the key to active online learning. London: Sterling.Google Scholar
- Thoms, B. P. (2016). Online learning community software to support success in project teams. Global Journal of Information Technology 5(2). doi: 10.18844/gjit.v5i2.197.
- Thomsen, D. L., Sørensen, M. T. & Ryberg, T. (2016). Where have all the students gone? They are all on Facebook Now. In S. Cranmer, N. Bonderup-Dohn, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg & J.-A. Sime (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Networked Learning 2016 (pp. 280-299). Lancaster: Lancaster University.Google Scholar
- Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar