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Title: Examining university students' use of social media for education in Hong Kong
Author: Chu, S. K. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 8094
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Although the majority of university students worldwide use social media in their everyday life (Ivala & Gachago, 2012), integration of social media in higher education pedagogy has not been commonly applied or thoroughly researched, no matter on an international or a local Hong Kong context. This study aims to investigate how university students may best make use of social media as part of their formal university education. Adopting a participatory design approach, the research involved students enrolled in a Bachelor’s program and a Master’s program between 2013 and 2014 in a university in Hong Kong. It addresses the following research questions: 1) students current use of social media in three domains - everyday life, informal learning and formal learning, 2) students’ use/engagement of social media in the three domains in relation to five claims in social media, 3) what do students want to do with social media for informal/formal learning after learning/experiencing the use of social media for educational purposes, and 4) the extent students find the participatory design approach effective for co-creating social media environments for formal learning. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis shows that while the use of social media in everyday life is common practice for most students, the advantages of using social media for academic purposes were not yet fully recognized by the participants. Results indicate that the participatory design is the bestsuited approach for the lecturer and students to adopt/develop a social media collaborative platform. The study offers both theoretical and pedagogical contributions. A theoretical framework on scaffolding students’ use of social media in formal learning using participatory design methods is proposed, emphasizing the importance of effort from both students and teachers. As for practical implications, the study offers suggestions to educators and policy makers on applying the theoretical framework for pedagogy enhancement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available