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Please follow this link to my mini-course An Introduction to Using Social Networking Sites in Education

Social Networking Sites and Learning


Some Items to Consider

  • Is using a social networking site right for your class?
    • Are you willing to learn to use new technologies and perhaps learn about them from your students?
    • Is your class distance based or do you meet regularly?
    • Some social networking sites require a financial investment. Do you have a budget to support this?

Target Learners

  • Post-secondary learners
    • PLEASE NOTE: Because most social networking sites offer unrestricted access to anyone and everyone, educators who choose to use them as a forum for their class must necessarily have concern about the safety of younger learners. Therefore, I advise only using these sites with those students who are 18 and older.
  • Students must have access to computers linked to the internet.
  • Students must have willingness to learn new skills and methods of communicating with classmates and others.


  • This mini-course will introduce educators to the world of online social networking and offer ideas on how they may incorpate use of a social networking site into their classes. While some classes are taught entirely through one of these sites, I am more interested in teaching how to use the strengths of each of these sites to enhance a course either through providing an additional resource for student and teacher connectivity, providing a discussion forum for students, a virtual lab, etc. This course is by no means exhaustive, as the world of online social networking is changing every day with new features, new sites, and new opportunities for engagement.
  • Learners should expect to spend about two weeks in this course.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to discriminate and choose which, if any, social networking sites will be effective enhancements to their class.
  • Students will be able demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and limitations of presented social networking sites.
  • Students will adopt a strategy for using one or more appropriate features selected from a social networking sites in their classes.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate efficient use of a social networking site by generating a new page or learning space for their class and be able to navigate to help areas if additional assistance is necessary.

Course Design Rationale

Because this course is self-directed and created for use by an individual, I wanted to be sure the content was lively and interactive and the learning activities were reflective and encouraged discussion with others. Rather than rely heavily on lecture text from me, I attempted to provide brief and engaging introductions to the material and allow the student to learn from the various articles and multimedia content I’ve included. Then, in the constructivist tradition, I suggest the student take this information to their peers and students, discuss it, and come back and reflect on it, making their own meaning from the content provided.

Course Units

  • Unit 1: Exploring social networking sites, an introduction
  • Unit 2: Identifying strengths and weaknesses of social networking sites
  • Unit 3: Creating a strategy for using a site within an instructional context
  • Unit 4: Getting started on creating your learning space within a social networking site

Curriculum Map


Reference Text

Gagné, R., Wager, W., Golas, K., & Keller, J. (2005). Principles of Instructional Design (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

Please follow this link to my mini-course An Introduction to Using Social Networking Sites in Education

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