♦ Exploration of Teaching Preferences of Instructors’ use of Social Media

Selcan Kilis [k1selcan@gmail.com], Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Middle East Technical University, Yasemin Gülbahar [ysmnglbhr@gmail.com], Instructor and Researcher at Department of Informatics, Administrator at Distance Education Center, Ankara University, Turkey, Christian Rapp [Christian.Rapp@gmx.net], Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, School of Management and Law, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Abstract

With the excessive use of social media in the 21st century, attempts to integrate social media within higher education have also increased. In this area, research has been particularly focused on the aspects of students, rather than the instructors. This study puts the emphasis on the instructors with the aim to explore their use of social media in educational settings. Their respective teaching preferences were explored, from a pedagogical perspective, with the help of a Social Media Toolkit. The toolkit was developed to guide instructors that want to integrate social media in their teaching. This study was designed as a descriptive study and quantitative data was collected from 583 instructors from 39 countries. The participants responded to four main questions in an online environment. Results revealed that instructors mostly prefer to teach their subject at the applying and understanding levels. They frequently use text-based materials and design their courses as problem-based or on a presentation model. They mostly prefer to assess students using alternative methods based on their performance, like portfolios, group works, etc. whilst classical methods were also preferred. Overall findings indicated that any instructor from any discipline or culture can transform courses onto a social media platform thanks to many different and varied features provided by social media tools.

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