e-Learning and Social Networking Handbook : Resources for Higher Education book cover
1st Edition

e-Learning and Social Networking Handbook
Resources for Higher Education

ISBN 9780415426077
Published April 9, 2008 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Student engagement with digital learning resources and online social networking are strong forces in education today. How can these resources best be utilized by educators and course designers in higher education? This book aims to provide the reader with enough background information to appreciate the value of social networking, especially for distributed education. Through highlighting the most relevant, interesting, and challenging aspects of e-learning the book provides practical advice for using social networking tools in course design. This volume covers the following issues of course design using social networking:

  • key issues of social networking as an educational technique
  • designing for a distributed environment
  • strengths and weaknesses of delivering content in various formats: text, audio and video
  • specific media: blogging, wikis, podcasting, webcasting
  • constraints on course design
  • implementation, evaluation, induction and training

Illustrated by short descriptive case studies, it also highlights contact addresses, websites, and further reading to help readers find resources and enhance their design. This practical guide will help all those involved in the design and delivery of online learning in higher education make the best choices when preparing courses for distributed learning.

Robin Mason is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University where she is a specialist in the design and practice of online teaching and learning.

Frank Rennie is Professor of Sustainable Rural Development at the UHI Millennium Institute in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Please visit the authors’ wiki at: www.socialnetworking.wetpaint.com

Table of Contents

@contects:Table of Contents

Chapter One: Social Networking as an Educational Tool

Chapter Two: Design for a Distributed Environment

Chapter Three: Selecting the Media Palette

Chapter Four: The Tools in Practice

Chapter Five: Constraints on Course Design

Chapter Six: Evaluating Course Design and Understanding its Implications




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Robin Mason is Head of the Centre for Information Technology in Education, The Open Univeristy, UK.  She is one of the early pioneers of online learning, having been closely involved in the Open University's first use of communications technology in 1987. Since then she has advised many OU course teams on the effective use of online components of distance courses, and has been a consultant evaluator on many courses in the UK and abroad. Her most extensive work over the last 8 years has been for the OU's Masters in Online and Distance Education, where she has designed, tutored, evaluated and directed many aspects of the programme. Most recently she led the team developing the first course for the UK eUniversities, called Learning in the Connected Economy.  Robin is already a well known author in the field of elearning, having published five previous books and many journal articles, book chapters and web pages. She is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences and is often called upon to review online learning provision, courses, articles and conference proceedings.

Frank Rennie is Head of Research and Post Graduate Development at Lews Castle College, an Academic Partner of the UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands) Millennium Institute. His special interests include environmental and community aspects of development issues, as well as the role of ICT and online initiatives as tools for sustainable rural development.  He has been an Advisor or Director to a number of government agencies and NGO’s including the Scottish Crofters Union, the Scottish Executive, Rural Forum, Chair of the Scottish Rural Affairs Committee of the BBC, and a member of the Secretary of State for Scotland's Education for Sustainable Development Group.  Research activities include various aspects of sustainable rural development, Internet developments for the delivery of distributed education and studies on rural issues in the UK as well as elsewhere in Europe where he is a regular keynote speaker at conferences. Full details on website at www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/research/staffrec1.htm


 ''It was refreshing to come across a book that focussed on cutting edge education.... This book has been well considered and has been set out in such a way as to be used either as a foundation in social technology and e learning or as a working tool"
CPD Update

This is a carefully crafted book that lucidly fulfills its major stated goal of reviewing the key issues of social networking as an educational technique" - The HEA Physical Sciences Centre 'Reviews'

"To me the book serves it purpose as a great resource for those involved in the social construction of knowledge.... It deserves to be consulted by course designers at any stage of planning, producing, offering and evaluating the courses in a distributed learning environment" - BJET