Social Media Assessment at #opened15

A social network diagram

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am fascinated by this topic because this is exactly what I hear from faculty that I work with – they do not have time to read and assess everything that students would produce in blogs, facebook, and twitter. Again, this is mostly a posting of links and random notes for later use. Your experience may vary: contents sold by weight and may settle during shipping.

Connected Learning: Exploring the What, Why, & How of Social Learning Analytics, or Annotation-Centric Assessment of Blogging in Higher Education
Laura Gogia – Academic Learning Transformation Lab
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Coming up with alternative assessment measurement for students who are blogging and using other networked tools.

Connected Learning is an emerging pedagogical framework that promotes student engagement, empowerment, and deeper learning through networked participation in open, digital environments. In higher education settings, Connected Learning practitioners tend to engage students in blogging and microblogging activities to stimulate learning through connectivity, defined as the act of linking people, information, and resources across space, time, and semiotic domains. However, one of the barriers to the advancement of Connected Learning in higher education settings is a lack of student assessment practices and protocols that align with or are relevant to the Connected Learning pedagogical approach. Traditional assessments tend to consist of written tests or examinations meant to measure course content acquisition and recall. The emphasis on a static and standardized body of information is problematic Connected Learning environments, where learning processes, networking literacies, and individualized learning outcomes are privileged over course content. Meaningful, pedagogically aligned, and logistically feasible assessments are needed to support and document Connected Learning.

As a uniquely digital form of student assessment, social learning analytics offer compelling opportunities for the documentation of Connected Learning. They capitalize on the digital traces left by social media-based learning activities to tell a story of digital interaction, participation, and knowledge construction. Social network analytics use centrality metrics to provide a real-time overview and visualization of student navigation within a social learning network. Discourse analytics that focus on the use of annotation systems (e.g. tagging, hyperlinking, mentioning) may reveal the specifics of how students navigate groups and content within the context of blogging and microblogging activities. Both types of analytics might be harnessed to provide ethical, integrated, sustainable, and scalable assessments of Connected Learning goals and objectives.

This presentation reports on a study that explores the capacity for social network and discourse analytics to address the challenge of documenting student participation in open Connected Learning spaces. In the study, these methods are used to assess student connectivity in blogging and microblogging activities executed as part of university-based Connected Learning courses. Social network and discourse analytics are evaluated for their ability to support real-time, self-, and peer-assessment while providing actionable data for faculty and students, alike. As part of an initial validation process, results of the social network and discourse analyses are compared to a student perception survey and content analysis of the same data.

Why do instructors use blogs? The published voice leads students to think more deeply about their responses. Blogs are used as formative assessment throughout the semester.

Under the direction of Gardner Campbell – – the VCU personal websites.

A “personal city campus.”

A certain type of course experience is emerging in this space – a course website, students are doing a lot of blogging that is aggregated in the course website. Public discourse, such as comments on blogs and twitter are a part of this experience.

Hoping to promote connectivity.

How do we assess connectivity
Documenting connectivity
Advancing the learning
Meeting 21st Cent goals for assessment.

Social Learning Analytics – a subset of learning meant to capture inherently social open and connective aspects of learning.

Are there ways to take advantage of the uniquely digital aspects of blogging.


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