For our second assignment in our Introduction to Research course at RRU, we were asked to select, read and research several academic articles and uncover their cultures of inquiry, the theoretical framework underpinnings of the research and the specific research methods employed by each journal. We were placed in groups to discuss any commonalities found within our set of selected articles and write a 1,000 word paper to summarize our findings. The articles I read appeared to focus on using technology and knowledge management as tools for productivity in educational institutions and business organizations.
A couple articles that I read caught my interest as I have tried to implement the methods discussed in the past. In Knowledge Management and E-Learning: An International Journal, one of the articles published discussed the factors that impacted a learners’ acceptance of Facebook in higher education classrooms. This article looked at the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook to see if establishing social groups online could be used as a learning management system (LMS).
Facebook was easy to use for my students and it had the capabilities to add notifications, online chat and event reminders.
Back in 2007, I had my students use Facebook groups as a way to communicate with each other and keep up-to-date with any course materials and due dates. My students were heavy users of Facebook at the time, especially during classes. Since my students used Facebook to connect with friends and others in their social groups, I decided to make them use the social network for productivity. Facebook was easy to use for my students and it had the capabilities to add notifications, online chat and event reminders. It had all of the tools that my students needed to keep in touch with each other and keep current with due dates and important messages. At the time, I had no idea that was I was implementing was a LMS. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what a LMS was back then. I just knew that using a tool that was vastly used and simple to navigate was the ideal solution for managing my class in a digital age.
After reading through the articles, I learned more about the psychology of using social networking sites as a LMS. The learning perspectives of adopting Facebook in higher education classrooms appeared to be a mixed method of ethnography, quantitative and behavioural cultures of inquiry. Bentz and Shapiro (1998) define ethnographic cultures of inquiries as a researcher becoming immersed in or participating within a group by interviewing members to obtain ideas, values, meanings, concepts and behaviours within organizations, cultures and social life. I had discovered that the theoretical frameworks commonly used were the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Thongmak, 2014), social constructivist (Siddike, Islam, & Banna, 2015) and behaviourist (Leone, S., & Biancofiore, 2015). There were a variety of research methods used including interviews, surveys and case studies. The basis of the study found that students were more productive using social networking sites as a means of managing knowledge than adopting a more robust and complex system for learning.
Later in the week, we discussed our findings as a collective group. I realized that I had been using social networking sites, such as Facebook, Google+ and even Twitter as a LMS for all of my classes. In addition to using Facebook groups, which have since been used less within my classroom, I use Google Hangouts and Google Docs to work with my students in real-time, establish online discussions and host video conferences/distance learning. I have also used Twitter as a means of staying in contact with my class in addition to posting online resources, and interesting articles. The articles I read support a strong case for adopting social networking sites as a means for LMS within higher education and the business world. Social networks are a cost effect way of keeping small to large groups of people around the world connected in a familiar, user friendly environment.
Bentz, V. M., & Shapiro, J. J. (1998). Mindful Inquiry in Social Research. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Karam, M. A. (2015). Garden Research [Photograph]. Royal Roads University. Victoria, BC.
Leone, S., & Biancofiore, G. (2015). Leveraging teamwork by Google+ in a lifelong learning perspective. Knowledge Management & E-Learning, 7(2), 215–231. Retrieved from http://www.kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/online-publication/article/view/433/256
Siddike, M. A. K., Islam, M. S., & Banna, H. (2015). Use of social networking sites: Facebook group as a learning management system. Knowledge Management & E-Learning, 7(2), 237. Retrieved from http://www.kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/online-publication/article/view/277/257
Thongmak, M. (2014). Factors determining learners’ acceptance of Facebook in a higher education classroom. Knowledge Management & E- Learning, 6(3), 316–331. Retrieved from http://www.kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/online-publication/article/view/363