Out-of-class Communication and Personal Learning Environments via Social Media: Students’ Perceptions and Implications for Faculty Social Media Use

Carolyn Kim

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Abstract: Social media has been a growing influence in higher education throughout the past decade (Amador & Amador, 2014; Junco, 2012). The increased use of social technologies in education also brings implications for faculty credibility in the eyes of digital natives and questions about pedagogical value. This study examines the perceptions students have of faculty who use social media in terms of both credibility and academic success. Findings indicate that, while there are risks that need to be addressed, faculty have the opportunity to have unprecedented out-of-class communication (OCC) through use of social media, and the capacity to develop Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) that are uniquely appropriate to individual learners and styles.

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