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Title: Exploring barriers to use of social media in support of non-formal learning by pupils attending secondary education in the UK : a mixed method approach
Author: Blair, Robert David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 4259
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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The problem this thesis seeks to address is that despite there being lots of evidence that young people of secondary school age in the United Kingdom embrace social media there is no established recognised best practice for incorporating it into their learning experience. This lack of best practice matters because social media has been demonstrated to support learning very effectively (closely fitting pedagogical approaches such as constructivism and connectivism), and digital literacy around the use of the World Wide Web in general and social media in particular is considered a life skill. A mixed methods, explanatory sequential approach is used to improve understanding of why and how pupils use social media, what they seek to achieve in doing so and why teachers do not appear to be promoting the use of social media to support non-formal learning. Data collection consisted of a quantitative survey undertaken by 380 pupils attending secondary schools in the counties of Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in the UK. This was followed by qualitative studies in the form of 8 focus groups with an average of 12 pupils per group and 18 individual interviews with teachers, which were thematically coded using an inductive, constant comparison approach until reaching point of saturation. An argument is presented that, although both pupils and teachers recognise the potential of social media to contribute to the non-formal learning process, this will not take place until key barriers are removed; in particular the perceptions of risk need to be addressed, and limitations created by the technical affordances of current platforms must be overcome. This thesis suggests that a set of mitigation strategies for these barriers could be developed based upon Digital Literacy education and Participatory Design led software development. This thesis therefore provides an original contribution to knowledge in the identification of barriers inhibiting use of social media by pupils in compulsory education to support non-formal learning and proposes an interdisciplinary approach to mitigate for these barriers.
Supervisor: Millard, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available