Social Software in Higher Education

Das JISC hat im Januar ein Projekt beendet und den Bericht veröffentlicht: A Study on the Effective Use of Social Software by Further and Higher Education in the UK to Support Student Learning and Engagement.

This study examined the use of social software in the UK further and higher
education sectors to collect evidence of the effective use of social software in
enhancing student learning and engagement. In this study, data from 26 initiatives,
where social software tools have been employed, has been collected, analysed and
synthesised. (…)

This study provides insights about the: educational goals of using social software
tools; enablers or drivers within the institution, or from external sources which
positively influence the adoption of social software; benefits to the students,
educators and institutions; challenges that may influence a social software initiative;
and issues that need to be considered in a social software initiative.

Mit Case Studies kam das Projekt unter anderem zu diesen Ergebnisse:

Our investigations have shown that social software tools support a variety of ways of
learning: sharing of resources (eg bookmarks, photographs), collaborative learning,
problem-based and inquiry-based learning, reflective learning, and peer-to-peer
learning. Students gain transferable skills of team working, online collaboration,
negotiation, and communication, individual and group reflection, and managing
digital identities. Although these tools enhance a student’s sense of community,
sharing and collaboration brings in additional responsibility and workload, which
some students find inflexible and rather ‘forced’. The study found that students have
concerns about privacy and the public nature of the tools for their academic
The educator’s role is changing from being a provider of information to a facilitator or
moderator, which raises training needs, workload issues, and adjusting to a ‘new’
way of teaching.

Spannend war es für mich auch, die Case Studies zu lesen und neue Ideen zu bekommen, wie Social Software an Hochschulen eingesetzt wird.

Vor allem für Hochschullehrende ergeben sich durch den Einsatz von Social Software Chancen, aber auch Risiken:

Being able to track student’s process and intervene early
Being able to review students’ contributions
Being able to teach interactively rather than broadcast
Changing the way they teach
Diverse needs of students
Designing and assessing learning activities
Workload issues
Perceived role of the educator

Mein Fazit: Wer mehr über Chancen und Risiken von Social Software für Lehrende und Lernende in der Hochschule, egal ob im pädagogisch-didaktischen, technischem oder organisatorischem Bereich wissen möchte, sollte diesen Bericht lesen.