Learning and teaching

Social media

While social media are being more and more frequently used in teaching and learning, its presence in assessment is not as established. Below are some ideas of how social media can be used for formative and summative assessment.

Social networking sites

What is referred to as social networking sites includes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Some more ideas for using social networking sites for assessment include:

  • Using Twitter for one-minute papers
  • Using Twitter as a tool for reflecting on and commenting on class presentations
  • online CVs using LinkedIn
  • Social crowdsourcing of notes during lecture

Video sharing sites

Video sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo have pedagogical uses. A common use is for a flipped classroom approach, however, they can also be successfully utilised for feedback and assessment purposes. Some ideas include:

  • Encouraging students to record their understanding of the class to share it with other learners
  • Substituting regular presentations or essays with video presentations
  • Recording students' performance for self-reflection and feedback – this can be done for example in Education on teacher training courses
  • Providing students with video feedback. Through third party online annotation platforms (e.g. Synote), you can add synchronised notes, bookmarks, tags, images and text captions to YouTube hosted content within a password protected environment.
  • Google+ Hangouts also support live feedback sessions which are recorded and presented within YouTube (e.g. "e-Learning and Digital Cultures" MOOC Hangout).

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking allows you to store and share web links (bookmarks) with other web users. Some examples of social bookmarking sites include Pinterest, Delicious, Scoop.it.  More ideas on how to incorporate social bookmarking into assessment diet are presented below:

  • Student create their own account and record and annotate all the sites they use for an assignment using social bookmarking sites (for example Pinterest, del,icio.us)
  • Students share joint account and collectively create a resource of useful web sites around a topic using social bookmarking sites (for example Pinterest, del,icio.us)
  • Students search a social bookmarking site (for example Pinterest, del,icio.us) for useful resources, ranking them by popularity and comparing them to and ordinary google search.

Escalate project offers some insight into how to incorporate social bookmarking into assessment criteria. For example, up to 10% of a module mark could be allocated, to recognise:

  • the number and type of texts that a student bookmarks (up to 2%); students will know what to expect if a minimum number of bookmarks is set, and will be encouraged to find references beyond recommended readings
  • the quality of commentary given for each bookmark (up to 6%); this will emphasize that the ability to make connections and to critique is key to the productive use of social bookmarking (not just listing and tagging)
  • the sociability of the contributions, that is, the level of interaction with peers (up to 2%); derived from Preece's work on online communities (2000, 2004), this criterion stresses the value of conversing with peers, somewhat informally, to develop ideas.

Blogs and wikis

Blogs and wikis have been used for assessment for some time now. While blogs tend to be treated as individual pieces of work, wikis are collaborative working spaces that produce resources with multiple authors and contributors. Below are some examples of how they can be utilized for assessment:

  • Students collaborate on a major wiki entry on a chosen topic
  • A collaborative wiki where students collaborate on an assignment – such arrangement will allow the lecturer to see individual contribution to group work
  • Weekly wiki component to summarise a lecture, reading or solve a problem
  • Students develop a collaborative wiki space on a topic elated to their future employment and exerts from the field participate in assessment of students' work
  • Students reflect on their progress via a blog, making notes of any areas of difficulty
  • Students provide weekly summaries of the readings for seminars on their blogs
  • students respond to questions posed in class on their blogs and comment on each other's work.

Assessing blogs can be problematic. Below are examples of rubrics that were used by other practitioners:

The use of social media for assessment at the University of Greenwich

  • YouTube is used on the Psychology and Counselling course – students record their role plays which are later on uploaded on YouTube for comments and self reflection.
  • Student blogs on the Web Design and Content Planning course.
  • Students studying Animation and Graphics Design have an opportunity to publish their project work on YouTube. Design Futures have their own channel where student work is being showcased and is open to comments from the wider audience.
  • Students on the Public Relations programme address live briefs from clients and post the result of their work on Pinterest.
  • Students on the PR Programme also create their professional identity on social media. They create their creative profiles on Pinterest which are linked to their LinkedIn accounts.
  • Students on the Foundation Degree work in groups to create wikis about different aspects of the British Culture

If you would like some support with introducing social media into your assessment diet, please contact ed@gre.ac.uk to discuss your ideas.