Learning Technologies, Needs Assessment, PLE, Social Media

The Measure of Social (Media) Learning

Online impact is more relevant as social web enters into digital learning environments. Both assessment and evaluation of digital resources is critical for supporting learning outcomes and instructional design. Before diving into any sort of online addition to your curriculum, be sure to review both your online content and learning goals.

Flickr photo c/o suavehouse113

It is okay to experiment and get acquainted with a few social media resources; however it is important to start with a needs assessment before implementing new technologies into a learning curriculum or program plan. Here are a few things to consider before as you begin the evaluation of social media tools for learning:

  • Credibility Check your online sources. Are you a critical learner with your social media tools? There is a great deal of sharing in the social web; however not all online content is reliable. Consider what mediums would be most appropriate for the subject, topic and learners. Encourage your learners to develop critical thinking skills on the web for effective methods of search, inquiry and information analysis.
  • Expertise – How many “social media experts” and #fauxperts have you seen online? It is the learning material, not the online tools that will best support your curriculum. The best expertise can be found with an instructional needs assessment and program implementation plan. Consider your learning objectives and planning your best expertise. I recommend the following educational technology associations and networks to support your instructional design and implementation needs: ISTE, AACE, AECT, The eLearning Guild,  and EDUCAUSE.
  • Trust – How do you build trust among learners in your online curriculum? What will help foster a sense of community? The social web creates spaces for online communities to grow and thrive. When building an online learning community it is important to consider communication channels, active participation opportunities, and collaborative networks for learners to find meaning.  
Flickr photo c/o Ev@ 😉
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