Through the support of a TDG grant, the speakers experimented with social media tools to enhance students’ experiential and capstone learning. This seminar aims to present factors that support successful adoption of social media tools to optimize students’ learning (e.g., in final year projects, group projects, and internships). A wiki, Google sites, has been used to support group projects. Customized group workspaces have been set up after thorough consultation with lecturers and tailored to the assignment specification. Customized training materials have been developed for each deployment, and were made available to students and lecturers. Hands-on training workshops have been delivered to students before deployment. Students were asked to use the workspaces throughout the duration of the group project as a collaborative project management tool. For internships, students were given instruction on how to engage in the Facebook system during their internship. They were asked to write their self-reflections on their internship experience and post them to the online platform every one to two days. In addition, they were also asked to respond to their peers’ reflections at least one to two times weekly for mutual support and collaboration. Social media can facilitate collaboration, and enhance transparency in students’ learning progress and their individual contribution in group projects.
The benefit of using wiki in students’ group project work can be illustrated through the following comment from a lecturer involved in this project:
Getting students to use wiki makes them more accountable for their work, because the work they hand in is not only seen by the instructor alone, but also some of the public. I think it is a good way of training students to look at who their audiences are, and what they’re trying to achieve in their research. Since activities are logged on the Web 2.0 (social media) platforms, I can monitor group dynamics and work progress.
<p>Dr. Samuel Kai Wah Chu is an Associate Professor (Division of Information & Technology Studies) and the Deputy Director (Centre for Information Technology in Education) in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. He is also the Program Director for MSc [Library & Information Management]. He has published over 100 articles and books including key journals in the area of IT in education (e.g., Computers & Education, Journal of Educational Technology & Society), information and library science (e.g., Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Library & Information Science Research), school librarianship (e.g., School Library Media Research, School Libraries Worldwide), academic librarianship (e.g., Journal of Academic Librarianship) and knowledge management (e.g., Journal of Intellectual Capital). He is also the author of a series of children story books published by Pearson Longman Hong Kong, including My Pet Hamsters and The Chocolate Boy. Dr Chu is the Associate Editor (Asia) for Online Information Review: The International Journal of Digital Information Research and Use. He is also the Asia Regional Editor for Journal of Information & Knowledge Management and an Editorial Board Member for Library & Information Science Research and School Libraries Worldwide. His research interests cover the areas of 21st century skills, social media in education, collaborative inquiry project-based learning, digital literacies (information, media, & technology literacy), school and academic librarianship, and knowledge management and intellectual capital. He holds many research grants including 2 Quality Education Fund awards totaling HK$5.83 million, and is a recipient of his Faculty's Early Career Research Output Award.</p>
<p>Dr. Katherine Chen is an assistant professor at the School of English, the University of Hong Kong. She is a sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist specializing in language ideologies and identities, multilingualism, transnationalism, language and gender, ethnography and video sociolinguistics. One of her noted products is a sociolinguistic documentary film, ‘Multilingual Hong Kong: A Sociolinguistic Case Study of Code-Switching’ (distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences) which explores issues of bilingualism and related social prejudices. The film serves as a teaching and public knowledge exchange tool for raising social awareness of language discrimination. Dr. Chen’s current research include a GRF funded project on language and identity of flexible/moving multilingual citizens between Hong Kong and N. America; a study of the cross-generation linguistic and cultural identities of the Indonesian Chinese diaspora in Asia; as well as a co-authored project on gender stereotypes and ideologies of the “Kong Girl”. She received the Faculty of Arts Teaching Excellence Awards in 2011-2012.</p>